From The Union
Machinists on Strike Viskase
To our friends and neighbors of Loudon County, TN.
We want to thank everyone for the support shown to the members of our Union when we announced our strike with ...Viskase. We’ve gotten a lot of questions about WHY we’re on strike, and we understand your interest.
From the beginning, Viskase management has demanded a takeaway contract, with no good reason but greed. Viskase is a profitable company, and our members are hardworking and productive. We’ve always been proud of the job we do, and it’s too bad Viskase wants to pick our pockets in such a way.
Here are some problems with the contract:
• Loss of Sunday Premium Pay
• Loss of 3% contribution to 401(k) by company
• Higher medical deductibles
• No health savings contributions to offset higher deductibles
• Very low wage increases in long-term contract (wages won’t cover inflation)
• Changes to our shifts and work times.
We are also filing Unfair Labor Practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board. There are laws are rules when we bargain a labor contract, and Viskase clearly broken them.
We simply want to keep the benefits and earning power we have, and we think it’s in the community’s best interests, also. These good Union jobs fuel the local economy, as we spend our money and pay our taxes. Lower pay and fewer benefits hurts the entire community and the secondary jobs that depend upon our wages. After all, the money Viskase pays comes from outside our community, and is important to the economy.
It’s also too bad Viskase has said they are bringing in workers from outside our community to do those jobs. Such a move is an attack on our community as well as an attack on their loyal employees.
We hope that Viskase will see their move isn’t a good one, and will return to bargain a fair and equitable contract and end this strike quickly. Tennesseans are made of strong stuff, and we are committed and united in our resolve. Thank you!