Tennessee Machinists End One Strike, Ramp Up Another

IAM Local 56 members in Chattanooga, TN are on strike against Tuftco over lost vacation time, mandatory overtime and cuts in seniority pay and benefits.

IAM District 711 in Tennessee reports one strike ended and one strike continuing in the state.

Nearly 190 members of IAM Local 2544 in Loudon, TN ended a 10-day strike at Viskase and ratified a new contract and returned to work with an improved contract. The five-year deal includes a 2 percent bonus, improved health care and restrictions on forced overtime.

“Our members stood together through this strike solidly,” said District 711 Business Representative Jerry Benson. “They went out together and were able to make gains in a short strike. I’m proud of all of them.”

Viskase, headquartered in Darien, IL, manufactures cellulose, fibrous and plastic casings used to wrap food items like sausages and other meats.

Meanwhile, IAM Local 56 in Chattanooga continues its Unfair Labor Practice strike against Tuftco, a carpet equipment maker, over lost vacation time, mandatory overtime practices and cuts in seniority pay and benefits. The IAM has charged the company with refusal to bargain, among other charges.

“The company left in the middle of bargaining and refused to return to the table,” said District 711 Business Representative Keith McFarland. “The company needs to return with a fair and equitable offer to end this strike.”