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USA: Solidarity with workers at Belshaw

31 May, 2013Workers at Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group in the USA have been standing strong on the picket line since 24 March. They unanimously rejected the last offer from the company on 10 May and no new negotiations are scheduled yet.

IndustriALL Global Union affiliate, the International Association of Machinists (IAM) representatives at Belshaw offered a medical plan that saved the company more than $20,000 per month but asked that part of those savings be returned to employees in higher wages instead of a one-time signing bonus.  The company accepted the offered medical plan while refusing to share the cost savings with the employees.

More than 60 members of IAM Local 79 in Seattle, Washington have been on strike since 24 March after voting unanimously to approve the strike.

We extend our solidarity and support to the all the union members involved in this dispute to fight corporate greed.

Said Jyrki Raina, IndustriALL Global Union.

The Local 79 members produce high-quality bakery equipment that is sold around the world. Many of the striking members have been with Belshaw for more than 30 years and have consistently met the challenges of competing in an ever-changing global manufacturing environment.

On 30 April, the employer notified the union that they were hiring replacement workers. On 10 May, the members of the bargaining unit rejected the employer’s latest offer.  The only change to the agreement made by the employer was that the replacement workers be allowed to stay employed after the strike and they strengthened the language the job security of temporary workers.

Since the members' rejection of the company's proposal on 10 May, the employer has continued to hire replacement workers. So far 39 of the 60 bargaining unit jobs have been filled with replacement workers.

The 60 members of the bargaining unit maintain the position that they will not ratify a proposal that allows the employer to keep permanent replacement workers.

Send your messages of solidarity to Belshaw workers.