Members of the Machinists Union District 9 remain on the picket line at American Pulverizer continuing to fight for a fair contract.
Joe Eccardt, Union representative for Machinists at American Pulverizer, said despite several attempts to resolve the issues since a strike was called on Oct. 31, the company continues to hold their position on contract changes that would increase members’ cost share on health care insurance, take away premium pay for weekdays, weekends and holiday overtime without guaranteeing holidays off.
“Can anyone imagine working Christmas Day getting paid straight-time?” Eccardt asked.
The company also wants an addition to the “managements rights clause” which would allow severe rules change that could lead to discharge on a first offense, force the use of vacation time for medical leave, take away union leave that strips the right to union activity and only offers a 0.5 to 1 percent increase in wages depending on the member’s classification.
“This company has a longstanding contract with District 9 that spans over several years,” Eccardt said. “With the last three contracts the company has continuously tried to erode the rights of our members. Our members in their workforce have said ‘enough is enough.’”
Eccardt said as the strike continues, those on the picket have been grateful to those who have shown support. The Gas Workers Union members and the Teamsters have been bringing by food and firewood for the group, and several members from the community have shown support. A mother and her daughter brought by snacks and hot drinks one day to the group, and the Humane Society has been great allowing our guys to use their facilities when needed, Eccardt said.
Boyer Fire Protection located next door to American Pulverizer has been allowing strikers use of their facilities for storage and personal matters.
Please support Machinists’ strikers. We’re all in this together.