May 30, 2006 – Members of LL 470 employed at PPG Industries in Lake Charles, Louisiana went on strike Friday night over pensions, health care costs and a two-tier, hire-in wage rate. Under PPG demands, new hires would no longer have retiree medical benefits or a defined-benefit pension plan.
IAM members at PPG had overwhelmingly rejected an earlier contract proposal and voted to strike, but negotiators agreed to an extension to try to come to an agreement. However, no agreement was reached. The contract was full of takeaways, even though PPG has had twelve quarters of record profits.
“LL 470 is a very strong local, with a solid membership,” said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez. “They will have the support of my staff and the International to make sure this is a successful strike. Our members deserve a strong contract, and they’re willing to fight for it.”
The workers at PPG make chemicals for industry, including chlorine. IAM members offered an orderly shutdown of the plant, for the safety of those inside and the surrounding community. PPG Management declined.