Honeywell to restart production at Metropolis plant
Editor's note: updated with new details and video.
METROPOLIS, Ill. — A chemical company could be back to business as usual but workers still want to know why they were sent home in the first place.
"When you work at a place that doesn't tell you the truth, it's always frustrating," said John Paul Smith, spokesperson for United Steelworkers Local 7-669.
They were locked out, then laid off. Hundreds of workers at the Honeywell plant in Metropolis, Illinois, who were sent home more than a month ago without warning, will finally be going back to work.
On May 10, the plant sent just about everyone home with little explanation, only saying some equipment was damaged.
The company has been investigating that damage ever since the plant shut down.
Thursday, the company said they will likely go back to business as usual on or around July 1.
The union said as they dismissed workers back in may, some members of management told some union members the company was investigating allegations of equipment sabotage.
The company disputes that claim, saying they were not investigating sabotage at all. However, they won't say exactly what happened or what equipment was damage.
The company will only tell us some equipment was damaged and they sent everyone home out of an abundance of caution.
Union members had hoped they would know why they had been sent home after the inspection was complete. In fact, the company sent us a news release Thursday saying they had shared the inspection results with both the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and with the union.
But union spokesperson John Paul Smith said the company did not share it's findings with the union.
"We work with chemicals in there that could kill people working around it and harm people in the community if there is comething wrong with it," he said. "We obviously want to know about it. We are the people with our hand on the equipment every day."
We'll have more on what took place during that shut down, including two toxic chemical leaks, during our 10 p.m. broadcast Thursday.