A. Schulman strike ends with three-year deal

BELLEVUE A. Schulman workers did not want to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas out in the cold picke
Cory Frolik
May 24, 2010

 

BELLEVUE

A. Schulman workers did not want to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas out in the cold picketing.

But on Dec. 7, union members went on strike after management offered a contract not to their liking.

Since then, the 70 employees have taken turns standing outside the Bellevue plant with signs protesting the company. At 10:30 p.m. Dec. 23, however, the union -- the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 2159 District 54 -- ratified a three-year agreement between management and workers.

"The strike's over," said Andy Campbell, the lead negotiator for Local 2159.

"The company got what it wanted, and we got (what) we kind of wanted -- the agreement was something the membership could live with."

Employees are slated to return to work Jan. 4. The plant typically closes over the winter holiday.

Campbell said the ratified agreement features improvements to the company's last offer, which was made Dec. 4.

Aside from improvements in working conditions, Campbell said the agreement provides increases in wages and improvements to workers' retirement contributions.

Although workers were not in favor of switching to a seven-day work schedule, the union agreed to a modification in the workweek.

Instead of the standard Monday to Friday schedule, employees will work Tuesday to Saturday and Sunday to Thursday, Campbell said.

He said the strike was never about wages -- it was about job security and job conditions.

Campbell said employees proved unrelenting during the past 17 days: They picketed around the clock, braving bone-chilling wind and subfreezing temperatures.

Many Bellevue residents stood behind the union workers in their efforts.

Cars and trucks driving past the plant honked to show support for the picketing workers.

In response, the workers, dressed in Carhartt overalls and stocking caps, stopped warming their hands in fire barrels to pump a fist into the air.

"We're really proud of the members that they all stuck together," Campbell said. "They endured all the weather."

This was the first time A. Schulman employees at the Bellevue plant went on strike since 1976.

Company management wrongly assumed the terrible but prevailing economic conditions would prevent workers from striking, said Dean Wright Jr., president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 54.

Wright said workers were unprepared to accept an unfair agreement simply because of economic insecurities.

On Dec. 6, union members overwhelmingly voted to reject the company's final offer. Then, by an even larger margin, members voted in favor of striking.

In the end, employees fought for a fair shake and they got it -- just in time for Christmas, union officials said.

A spokeswoman for A. Schulman corporate did not return calls on Thursday morning.

Comments

looking around

merry Christmas to all! Solidarity will ensure many more!

Ray1

Yes, Merry Christmas everyone. Glad to hear the strike is over, however that "solidarity" drivel sounds like socialist propaganda and certainly won't ensure anything for anyone except more movement of the American manufacturing base out of the midwest to the southern states and ultimately out of this country altogether.

Anonymous

A spokeswoman for A. Schulman corporate did not return calls on Thursday morning? LOL wonder why? because they are smarter then that LOL you may just think you have won, but now they are going to look even harder into moving this plant overseas,just like 9 of there other plants,it was about job security? thats a good one, there is NO such thing as job security today, you union idiots will never learn, you just keep pushing till you push yourselves right out of a job, just wait till about a year or so from now,if that long, when you will be reading the headline and the story reads A. Schulman closing its doors and is moving this plant overseas,then you all can come back on here and cry somemore and I will be right here to say told you so.....LOL unions today are a thing of that past!

kURT

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redtop6301

To who really cares,what do you care what happens at schulman unless you wish you could have a job there.Oh but wait you got a good job flippin burgers or delivering pizzas. ha ha ha To bad to be you.

Anonymous

In a union shop, you negoiate to settle, in a non-union shop, you get what they hand you.
For years, now, union shops have been agreeing to huge give-backs. Either way, companies are still moving out.
Glad you settled and are back to work. Time to get get your ducks in a row, either way, you had no guarantee they'll stay here tomorrow.

Anonymous

redtop6301 yeah I do care what what happens to schulman, I dont want to see anymore plants close or move away just becouse of some stupid union wanting to always $uck the company dry for everything its worth.

2Shoes you are SO WRONG about non-union shops today! isnt it kinds strange that most the shops that are still aroung today are NON-UNION? hmmmm wonder why that is? I guess it wouldnt have anything to do with they dont have to deal with all this stupid union crap that goes on.

redtop6301

to who really cares.Schulman is not broke they just bought another company for 190 million cash so what little crumbs they got is nothing to what the big shots got for running the company like a few 1 st graders

here in ohio

Re: who really cares kinda sounds like you have something against unions? Have you ever worked in a union shop before? some are good and some are bad. Unions are what keeped companies from running sweet-shops with little pay in the day. they were needed. Most shops dont do that anymore so yeah you are kinda right about unions being out dated. you really do sound childish the way you talk about them. you should learn a little more about them before shoting your mouth off about them.

Anonymous

to:here in ohio yeah I worked in a sorry A$$ union shop before. that how I no everything about them! So why dont you just keep your childish comments TO YOURSELF thank you!

The wolf man

i kinda hated to see the strike end, who's going to burn my christmas tree now,i guess i can get one of those burn barrels from mr. $uckit!!

redtop6301

hey who really cares,you probably couldnt make in a union shop probably to lazy and didnt make the cut thats why your delivering pizzas

The wolf man

i've worked in a union shop myself, the only thing they do is protect those lazy*** who don't want to work. Some of you might not like that comment, but it is what it is. I've been there and seen it first hand many,many times. There ain't a union member out there that can deny at least part of that. If you do, your a *** lier.

here in ohio

redtop6301 CANT YOU READ THE SIGN? DONT FEED THE TROLLS! LOL :) who really cares probably didnt even finish 5 grade let alone work in a union shop LOL

The wolf man

it sounds to me this strike was a waste of time, when you lead negotiator says "the company GOT what it wanted and the workers KIND OF GOT what it wanted,... well its not too hard to figure out who won that battle

Ray1

redtop6301, if the company was run like "a few 1st graders," as you say, how could they possibly have the brains to buy another company for $190 million? Refusing to get pushed around by an archaic organized labor system is probably one of the strategies the company will employ to help it grow.

As the wolf man said, the company got what it wanted and the workers kind of got what it wanted. That tells it all. "Although workers were not in favor of switching to a seven-day work schedule, the union agreed to a modification in the workweek. Instead of the standard Monday to Friday schedule, employees will work Tuesday to Saturday and Sunday to Thursday, Campbell said." Isn't this a seven day work schedule?

Schulmanspouse

once again people are thinking that they know what happen with the new contract when they have no clue. Uh the Tue-Sat and Sun-Thur isn't 7 days. Plus this is only if they get alot of orders that need to get out, not a every week schedule. There were other things that the union was able to receive, and there were things that they had to concede to. It's done with now we all can move on to whatever happens next.

twowords4u suckit

wolf man i got a burn barrel for you... oh by the way the union Suc...waste of money i been there and never help me but take my money. who needs union when you got high payments to your health insurance.. im better off geting on welfare and live for free...

here in ohio

spoken like a true todays american,better off living off the welfare system FOR FREE! just think,if everybody thought that way there wouldnt be anybody working and paying taxes to pay for your sorry A$$ES

twowords4u suckit

thing is its going on right now and YOU cant do anything about it because people now the system in and out. whos the smart one now?

here in ohio

oh so this makes them smart? no it makes them a total loser,and they will never account for anything!

The wolf man

i hate to say it, but alot of those people who are on welfare do work, there getting paid under the table, collecting welfare, and have free health care throu the system. As much as that $ucks to the working man, thats pretty smart if you ask me.

The wolf man

shulmanspouse
people know more than more than what you think they do. Not everyone is as stupid as you think they are. You think you know everythng that goes on there?-i dont think so, if you did, instead of calling yourself shulmanspouse, there's a chance you would be be calling yourself ex-schulamnspouse-it is what it is

Schulmanspouse

Ah Wolf Man: Where do I say people are stupid in my comments.....not once did I say that. And I don't know everything that goes on at A. Schulman, I only know what my husband and a few of his co-workers tell me and by the way the comment of calling myself an ex-schulman spouse was stupid.

twowords4u suckit

bout time people stop beating around the bush, good job wolf man. whats REALLY going on? i think its more than just people on strike.

starryeyes83

watch those schulman husbands, most of them are running around on their wives.