By SHERI GASSAWAY
Machinists Lodge 777 members recently on strike at Sunset Ford gathered around the table this Thanksgiving with free turkeys and all the trimmings compliments of Machinists District 9.
District 9 held a food drive at its union hall for the Lodge 777 members shortly before the strike ended. American Income Life insurance company provided turkeys and the district’s health and welfare office purchased grocery gift cards.
Lodge 777 members picked up the meals and gift cards Nov. 23 at the Laborers Local 110 parking lot, which is across the street from Sunset Ford. District 9 Business Representative Dwight Terry, who negotiated the contract, and Lodge 777 President Scott Hargis handed out the turkeys at the event.
“This is really nice,” said Ron Wohlstadter, a Lodge 777 member who’s worked at Sunset Ford for 25 years. “We sure do appreciate it, and it helps a lot after losing three weeks’ worth of pay.”
District 9 also provided meals and gift cards for Teamsters Local 618 members in the Parts Department at Sunset Ford who honored the strike.
“The support we received from the Teamster members at Sunset helped a lot,” Hargis said. “That solidarity is what being in a union is all about. Those workers lost wages, too, and we are happy to provide them with a Thanksgiving meal.”
Lodge 777 members returned to work Nov. 22 after approving a third contract proposal from the company. They went on strike Nov. 1. The new contract includes higher wages and pension protections for the 25 members.