|IAM retiree Charlie Knox (left), joins Local 225 Shop Committee Chairman, Harry Grooms (center) and member Glenn Farris (right) on the picket line outside Chemineer in Dayton, OH.|
IAM members of Local 225 in Dayton, OH, went on strike March 7 after machinists, welders and assemblers unanimously rejected a new three-year contract offer from Chemineer, a Dayton-based maker of industrial mixing equipment. The company’s offer came three weeks after negotiations began when the company suddenly called a halt to the talks, leaving behind a grossly substandard contract proposal.
“The membership felt like it was a slap in the face,” said Local 225 Shop Committee Chairman Harry Grooms. “This proposal would gut the existing contract and place our members’ jobs in peril at a time when the company is making money.”
The company’s proposal would impose mandatory overtime, freeze wages and contributions to the company pension plan, substituting a 401(k), while gutting the health care plans. Other changes include draconian cuts to vacation and holidays while imposing a two-tier pay scale.
Chemineer representatives indicated to negotiators that they expect to increase the company’s profit margin from 5 percent to 15 percent. “Their proposal shows they intended to do that off the backs of these workers,” said District 34 BR Tony Provost. “These members have dedicated their lives to this company and many of them have more than 30 years in that facility. This proposal and the immediate use of strikebreakers by the company is a clear attempt at union busting.”