Teamsters on strike at Graybar still standing strong

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STANDING STRONG – Teamsters Local 688 members are now in their third week on strike at Graybar for better wages and benefits. – Labor Tribune photo

By SHERI GASSAWAY
Assistant Editor

Hazelwood, MO – Teamsters Local 688 members are now in their third week on strike here at Graybar.

The 42 workers went on strike Feb. 26 after rejecting the company’s final, best offer after six months of contract negotiations. The company responded by locking out the employees.

“We’ve made attempts to try and get back to the table, but so far nothing has happened,” said Local 688 Business Representative Jim Barrett. “The fight continues. We’re just looking to get back to the table and encourage the company to talk.”

At issue are wages that are significantly below industry standards in the area, a mandatory health care plan with $500 bi-weekly deductions that amount to half of employees’ take home pay and exclusion from the company’s profit-sharing program – a privilege granted to approximately 9,400 employees nationwide.

Brian Tomnitz has worked at Graybar a total of 17 years. He’s been laid off twice during that time and has learned to save for the unexpected.

“The bad thing is we don’t have any health insurance,” Tomnitz said. “Hopefully, we’ll get a better offer than last time because the last offer was ridiculous. It was an insult.”

If you would like to support the Teamsters on strike, stop by the strike line at 6202 Aviator Drive in Hazelwood.


 


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