After many days of debate between union workers and company representatives, Honeywell has locked out members of the bargaining group from returning to work.
Company spokesperson Peter Dalpe said in a statement that they are disappointed that the leadership of USW Local 7-669 allowed their contract to expire on Friday night without allowing members to vote on a new 6-year offer.
Dalpe says that a few of the demands that could not be agreed upon were a proposed five percent raise every year for the next three years and the immediate addition of 50 new union positions. The company offered a two percent increase each year of the contract instead, but the union did not agree with those terms. Healthcare benefits and subcontracting were also major points of debate.
He also announced that a group of salaried contingent workers will step in.
"In support of our critical bargaining objectives, the company has decided not to allow members of the bargaining unit to return to work until an agreement on a new contract is reached," Dalpe's statement read in part. Those contingency workers have been thoroughly trained and are qualified by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the change is effective immediately.
United Steelworkers Local 7-669 President Stephen Lech said that the disagreement isn't about the money, but rather job security for their members.
"Throughout the bargaining process we have, and remain committed to negotiating with Honeywell while our members continue to work. It now appears that Honeywell is not willing to do the same," Lech said.
Dalpe said that company representatives are still available to meet with the union, and that employees will be allowed to return to work once the union agrees on a new contract. The union is scheduled to meet with the company to resume negotiations at 10 in the morning on Saturday.
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