Ark. Potlatch Mill Workers Strike
Jul. 31, 2002
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WARREN, Ark. (AP) _ More than 250 Potlatch Corp. mill workers at two Warren saw mills were idled Wednesday after their union failed to reach a new collective bargaining agreement with the company.
Members of the International Association of Machine and Aerospace Workers walked out about 6:30 a.m. EDT, Potlatch spokesman Mike Sullivan said. He said contract talks broke down last week over economic issues.
A handful of the two plants' 263 workers were filling existing orders, but Sullivan said not much work was being done. The strike affects only the Warren mills.
Sullivan said the union had authorized a strike vote July 8, but also said previously that the two sides had agreed in principle.
But talks broke off July 23. Union officials called the company Tuesday and said workers would not show up Wednesday, Sullivan said.
Union officials could not be immediately reached for comment.
The union pact initially expired in May, but laborers extended the contract until the end of June. The workers stayed on their jobs for the last month without a contract.
The main Warren mill, the Southern unit, employs 193 while the Bradley plant has 70 workers, Sullivan said.