Solidarity on Display in Louisiana

June 13, 2006 – Members of Local 470 in Lake Charles, LA entered their third week on strike against PPG Industries with a multi-union rally, kicking off a week of activities to demonstrate community support and union solidarity in their fight for a fair contract.

“The other unions are out here supporting their brothers and sisters who are walking the picket line,” IAM Business Representative Terry Taylor told KPLC TV News. “They know the fight that we have today, could be the fight they have tomorrow.”

“Every time we go to the bargaining table we are all fighting for the same thing: better benefits, keep our health benefits and keep our wages,” said Katherine Hay, president of Communication Workers of America Local 3407.

“We are a family of union workers showing our solidarity and that what happens to one will happen to the other,” said Claude Syas, president of United Steelworkers Local 13-55.

PPG management is demanding unfair changes in wages, health care and pension benefits, including a two-tier, hire-in wage rate which would leave new hires without retiree medical benefits or a defined-benefit pension plan, even though the industrial chemical maker has had twelve quarters of record profits.