Truseal Workers Strike Over ContractDecember 21st, 2009 by Editor
Members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 8411 who work for Truseal Technologies Inc., Barbourville, Ky., plant went on strike last Wednesday December 16 after failing to reach an agreement on the new three-year contract.
Truseal Technologies and USW Local 8411 have been engaged in negotiations for a new labor contract since September of 2009, according to Truseal’s Lee Burroughs, vice president of manufacturing at the plant. The current labor contract expired December 15, 2009 without the parties having reached a new agreement.
“Regretfully, the USW has called a strike,” he says. “Truseal believes that its final offer is equitable and competitive with manufacturing companies in Southeast Kentucky for both wages and benefits.”
Points of contention in the contract included changes proposed by the company to increase insurance premiums, eliminate attendance bonuses, change employee 401K and overtime policies, and allow for weekly changes in employee schedules, according to an article in the Times Tribune on December 17.
Truseal tells DWM magazine that the contract includes no cuts in wage rates for existing employees, a competitive health insurance program and increased company contributions to the retirement plan.
“Regarding the other fringe benefits, some are improved, some reduced and some remain the same. Overall we believe that we have proposed a very fair package,” says Burroughs.
Despite the strike Truseal is continuing manufacturing operations in Barbourville. The company’s Barbourville location currently has 132 active union employees (prior to the strike).
Contract negotiations continued through this weekend and a federal mediator was working with the two sides, according to Truseal. The company suggested a break until after the holidays, and talks will now resume on January 5.