EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSSTRIKE THREAT
from Eyewitness News Online
Aluminum Plant Workers Set To Vote On Constellium's "Final" Offer
Reported by: Bob Aaron
Videographer: Bob Aaron
Web Producer: Bob Aaron
Also Contributing: AP
Reported: Jul. 25, 2012 5:35 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 25, 2012 5:47 PM EDT
Ravenswood , Jackson County , West Virginia
A proposed contract covering around 700 union workers at an aluminum rolling mill in Ravenswood is up for a vote this week.
Steelworkers Local 5668 is holding informational meetings for members Wednesday on Constellium Rolled Products' contract offer. Union workers will vote on the proposed contract Thursday and Friday, but could authorize leaders calling a strike if it is rejected by the rank and file later.
The old contract expired at midnight on July 15. Local 5668 President Jason Miller says in a posting on the union's website that it's being extended day-to-day.
A strike vote will be held during today's meetings. It would apparently allow Miller and his committee to call a strike or continue talks if the offer fails to pass. A 72 hour strike notice is required.
The company says the offer calls for about a 2 percent raise each year over five years. A typical worker would get $25,000 more during that period, but his health care costs would rise by 10,000 dollars at the same time. Many workers are not happy with the change the company calls critical to the future of the plant.
Ravenswood Mayor Michael Ihle says the city is encouraging the union and the company to agree to a deal that's fair for both sides.
The mill is Jackson County's largest employer, with about 1,000 workers.
Company officials declined to talk on camera. Union officials declined to talk about details in the offer provided by the company.
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