Honeywell announces a return to work for some hourly employees
METROPOLIS, Ill. — Honeywell announces 85 hourly employees could return back to work late next week after an eight day layoff.
"We're beating our heads against the wall trying to get answers and we're just not getting any," said Union Local 7-669 President Stephen Lech.
Many of his union members have been without a job since last Thursday when 180 hourly employees were told to go home. Lech said the company is not treating the employees fairly.
"To come back under a new collective bargaining agreement with a positive attitude and be treated like this after nine months is unbelievable," he said.
Lech said the layoffs were supposed to last up to 15 days but he feared it could be longer for some. The company is pulling health care for those who don't return by the end of this month.
"The letter we received a couple says later was notifying us that employees that were out at the end of the month would not have health care coverage, so that indicated to us that this would go longer than 15 days," Lech said.
Lech asked for a joint investigation into what the company said was damaged equipment found inside the plant but that request was denied.
He said union frustration is boiling over.
"A lot of our members don't know if they can continue to work for a company like this," Lech said. "Who can blame them?"
Lech hopes Honeywell is being truthful about their investigation but said the company is being too tight lipped.
"It's almost to a point where if you say you work for Honeywell, it almost looks like it's not a reliable employment anymore."