Manufacturing staff striking after contract talks break down
ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) — Some workers at a scale manufacturer in St. Johnsbury walked off the job after contract negotiations failed.
The Caledonian Record reported 67 Fairbanks Scales workers, who are members of U.E. Local 234, a chapter of United Electrical, Radio and machine Workers of America, picketed for a second day on Thursday. The workers make up more than half of the facility’s 110-member workforce.
“The company has failed to put forward a fair wage increase; failed to respond to a number of benefit proposals and jacked up insurance rates by an amount that would make it unattainable,” said Chad McGinnis, a union representative. “We are unequivocally committed to raising the working standards of all workers.”
Fairbanks officials said they “presented fair and reasonable terms during negotiations,” and that the company hoped the contract issues could be quickly resolved.
The union members manufacture Fairbanks’ electronic and light industrial products. Fairbanks spokeswoman Ingrid Adel said normal operations would continue.
The company was founded in St. Johnsbury more than 180 years ago by two brothers. After a series of mergers and acquisitions, it is now controlled through corporate offices in Kansas City, Missouri. It has another manufacturing facility in Mississippi. The company has more than 500 employees nationwide, according its website.
Information from: The Caledonian-Record, http://www.caledonianrecord.com