Saturday, May 1, 2010

Will West Point's 1,100 Union Workers Strike, As Early As Next Saturday?

From Ed Silverman's comment board, following up on my earlier posts, on the topic:

. . . .Here’s the deal on West Point: It’s a HUGE manufacturing hub for Merck in the US, especially for viruses. The union representing them is a local of the United Steel Workers. As to the impact, I’m not sure. It is heavily dependent on the inventory Merck has to dish out. . . . We’ll see how this all shakes out. . . .

Indeed. And below, in marine blue, is the latest union contract negotiation status -- or CAT letter -- from the union's USW local 10-86 website:
Saturday, 01 May 2010 @ 10:02 AM


. . . .On Friday night, just hours before our contract was set to expire, your Bargaining Committee took a stand for our UNION, our JOBS and our FAMILIES.

As the final hours approached, the Company’s negotiators did exactly what we expected all along –- they tried to force our UNION into making a rushed, last minute decision that would hurt our members.

For all their talk about "inclusion," the Company turned out to the same old wolf in sheep’s clothing during our meetings this past week. First, they sent an email that was directed at our members and that was intended to undermine our Bargaining Committee. Next, they tried to force the Committee to rush to judgment on our most important priority –- securing our families’ futures.

But we’re not falling for that act again, not ever.

Our Bargaining Committee is not going to give our families’ futures the short-shrift. We are going to fight as hard as we can to secure a fair contract that makes us all proud. That was what we promised you at the beginning of this process, and that’s what we will deliver -– no matter how long it takes.

So the bottom line is that there will be no ratification meeting Monday night, because the future that the Company has offered is not acceptable under any circumstances.

Your Bargaining Committee has informed the Company that we will make ourselves available to meet with them in the coming days and weeks, and that we will continue to work to resolve the remaining differences between us. But we can guarantee that the Committee will not agree to any "solution" that hurts people. And we damn sure aren’t going to be bullied into rushing a contract –- not with stakes this high.

As we move forward together, our Committee will keep working our hardest, we will keep pushing the Company to do the right thing, we will do everything in our power to bring back a contract that treats our members with dignity and respect, and, as always, we will keep you informed of our progress. In the meantime, keep working, keep moving the site forward, and most of all STAY UNITED. When we work together as ONE UNION we can achieve great things. . . .

Indeed. Apparently, there was no agreement, last night, on the overall collective bargaining agreement, so starting Monday, these employees are working without a contract. We shall see what next Saturday's expiration of the reported one week grace-period extension brings. I'll keep you informed.

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