Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Boilermakers Settle

Earlier in March, I wrote about the sad situation in Meredosia, IL. Boilermakers local 484 faced a year-long lockout from a company with 1000% profit increase over health care and wages. Below are comments from a co-worker of mine who was instrumental in arranging some donations from my own staff union on behalf of the Meredosia workers:

The 150 workers at the Celanese Corp. in Meredosia, IL have settled their contract after being locked out for almost one year.

The results were mixed. Although they were able to maintain choice of their insurance carrier and push back somewhat against the 35% pay cuts of the Company’s last and final offer, they are still going back to work with deep pay cuts at an extremely profitable company (profits up 1000% last year) These workers’ standard of living has been sharply reduced.

This was a choice of survival, of living to fight another day. With the one year anniversary approaching, the threat of a company inspired “decertification” of the union by the scabs working in the plant was very real. Assessing what “power” they had at this moment in time, they cut the best deal they felt they could. (Those of us fighting subcontracting in our schools have faced similar dilemmas). On $125 week strike benefits and the donations of supporters like us, these workers were able to sustain their struggle for 51 weeks. Their struggle, and ours, continues.

[Our staff Union] contributed over $2000. to Local 484 in the course of their struggle. Small as we are, this was the most per member contributed by any union to this struggle! We can indeed be proud of the role we played and the solidarity we displayed in this fight. Keep the faith!

So there you have it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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