A strike by workers at Tecnocap SpA in Glen Dale, West Virginia, is entering its second month, as the company refuses to bargain with IndustriALL Global Union affiliate, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).
Thirty skilled trade members of IAM Local 818 embarked on the strike on 9 April at the global metal lid and cap company, after Tecnocap made unilateral changes to the terms and conditions of employment. By law, the company should have negotiated with IAM as the collective bargaining representative.
“Tecnocap, which is based in Italy, recently locked out the other union (GMP) at the plant and now unlawfully negotiated in a manner with the IAM that left its members with no other recourse but to unanimously vote to strike and file unfair labor practices against this employer,” says T. Dean Wright Jr from IAM.
Tecnocap’s illegal proposal would subject the loss of one third of IAM’s bargaining unit members, and healthcare premiums would increase to fifty per cent of the total cost of an employee’s plan option.
The company has begun using replacement workers from their other locations in Italy and Spain, who are now working in the West Virginia location on work visas.
“IAM Negotiators remain ready and willing to meet with Tecnocap officials at any time they are ready to enter into lawful bargaining,” adds an IAM spokesperson.
In a letter to IAM president, Robert Martinez, IndustriALL general secretary, Valter Sanches, expressed solidarity for the striking workers at Tecnocap:
“IndustriALL Global Union demands that Tecnocap sit down at the table and bargain with the IAM in good faith to reach a fair and equitable agreement.
We stand shoulder to shoulder with the sisters and brothers of Machinists Local 818 at Tecnocap in Glen Dale in their struggle to negotiate a fair contract.”