(Update - Honeywell Issues Statement) Honeywell Negotiations Continue This Week
UPDATE: Honeywell has issued a statement on the situation.
“The company and the union continued bargaining on Tuesday, but little progress was made. The union proposed minor changes to proposals the union had made at the start of bargaining a month ago on topics such as vacation time, seniority and job rules. This language would turn back the clock to past practices that decreased efficiency and hindered the plant’s ability to compete.The company remains committed to bargaining in good faith toward an agreement that is fair to employees while also continuing to support the long-term competitiveness of the plant and its ability to provide high-paying jobs in the Metropolis area.Despite plant losses of $300 million over the past decade, Metropolis union members earn an average of $29.65 per hour, which is nearly double the median hourly wage for the Southern Illinois/Western Kentucky region, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These workers earn wages that are 32 percent higher than the average teacher’s wages, 41 percent higher than the average police officer’s wages, and 135 percent higher than the average firefighter’s wages. Their average total compensation including pay, overtime and benefits exceeds $102,000 per year. The parties intend to resume bargaining tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.”
ORIGINAL STORY: Negotiations resumed Monday between company and union representatives at the Metropolis Honeywell uranium conversion facility. Talks had been on hold since the most recent contract expired August 1, beginning a work stoppage.
United Steelworkers 7-669 Representative John Paul Smith says the main sticking points are healthcare and subcontracting, noting Honeywell’s current proposal “clearly accentuates their inability to manage the facility.” Honeywell spokesman Peter Dalpe says the union agreed to adopt their healthcare proposal starting in 2015 under the terms of the previous contract.
Labor negotiations began July 21 and have been contentious from the beginning. Since the lock-out began, Honeywell officials accused union picketers of blocking vehicles, leaving nails on driveways, and using slurs against workers entering the plant, but union representatives deny the claims. The last Honeywell contract negotiation began in 2010 and took over a year to resolve.
Negotiations are scheduled to resume this morning with both groups prepared to continue bargaining through Friday.