August 31, 2006
Reported by Vince Atkinson
It has been more than three months since union workers at PPG first went on strike. Negotiations between the company and the union ended in a stalemate time and again, that is until Thursday night. Union workers spent all day Thursday voting on a new labor contract that was offered by the company.
It is official, the strike at PPG is coming to a close. The approximately 900 union workers that walked off the job about three months ago have accepted a new labor contract. For nearly 100 straight days union workers have been picketing in front of PPG's Lake Charles Plant, but the picket signs are now being put away and union workers are preparing to "clock back in." This move comes after a union wide vote on a three year contract. Union Business Agent Terry Taylor said, "The membership voted that offer and they accepted that contract and they now have a contract."
Union members voted to accept the same contract that was rejected just weeks ago. Taylor said, "The members were in fear of losing their jobs by being replaced by permanent replacement workers." Those fears came about after the company mailed a letter to striking union workers. The letter basically said the company was considering replacing workers that were on strike.
In response to the union accepting the contract that was put on the table, PPG Lake Charles released this statement, "We're pleased union members have ratified a contract that maintains the plant's competitive position while providing wages and benefits that are among the best, if not the best, in the Lake Charles area. We look forward to working together to meet the challenges our industry faces. Wage employees will begin returning to work on Thursday, September 7th."