Monday, May 21, 2012

Teamsters forced to strike at WA wire mill

Today in Kent, Wash.
Keep a good thought for our brothers and sisters at the dangerous Davis Wire mill in Kent, Wash. They're on strike after the company laid off 27 workers -- three days after a strike vote.
That's illegal.
Workers at the Kent mill have broken bones and mangled fingers because of the company's negligent safety practices. Four workers have been killed over the past few years in industrial accidents in plants owned by Davis Wire's parent, Heico Wire Group. Last week a machine operator was hospitalized after his hand got caught between spinning rollers of a fabric machine.
...workers have joined a class-action lawsuit accusing their employer of denying them the right to take rest and meal breaks and working employees without paying them over a three year period. 
The complaint, which was filed in King County Superior Court on April 30, describes sweatshop-like conditions, in which employees were pressured to work 12-hour shifts without a break and eat lunch at their work stations while operating dangerous machinery.
It should be no surprise that the company engages in illegal union-busting. According to Local 117,
Davis Wire threatened to move work out of state and close down the Kent facility unless the Union agreed to the company’s terms in bargaining. 
Local 117 has filed Unfair Labor Practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) alleging that the layoffs represent a violation of federal labor law. In the last month, the company has been accused of eleven additional violations of the law, including bad faith bargaining, worker surveillance, worker intimidation, and illegal threats to shut down the facility in Kent.
Stay strong!