9 October, 2014More than 300 workers at Schneider Electric in Indiana, USA, went on strike on 5 October. The action comes after the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) Local 2069 rejected the company’s proposal on salaries and benefits.
IndustriALL Global Union affiliate IAM’s members voted to reject Schneider Electric’s final offer, which would have taken away a long-standing defined benefit pension plan. The rejected proposal had minimal wage increases to both tiers of the company's wage scale and included only minor adjustments to safety equipment and accident and sickness benefits.
IAM Director of Collective Bargaining Tom O’Heron says:
“Schneider Electric is trying to bully our members into giving up their defined benefit pension plan and a respectable retirement.”
Despite Schneider’s claims of continuing to work with the union to get a fair contract, IAM maintains that the company has not made any attempts to return to negotiations.
“Schneider Electric has made no attempt to contact this union or return to the bargaining table,” said O’Heron. “Instead they’ve taken steps to move the work out of Indiana, which is a direct threat in our opinion.”
IndustriALL General Secretary Jyrki Raina says:
“We are outraged to learn that Schneider Electric is threatening and intimidating. It is important to note that Schneider Electric recorded a profit of over $2.4 billion in 2013, which makes the behaviour of the company even more unconscionable.
We call on Schneider Electric to return to the negotiating table immediately and address the legitimate concerns and demands of Local 2069 members to achieve a fair contract.