Honeywell Contract Talks to Resume Amid New Allegations


By Matthew Searcy

METROPOLIS -- It's been two weeks since a dispute over contracts forced a lockout at the Honeywell Plant in Metropolis. 

Union members and company leaders will soon be starting talks again, but there's also a new issue. Honeywell leaders are accusing the union of jeopardizing safety at the facility. 
Honeywell leaders claim picketing union workers have been walking in front of vehicles at the plant's entrance.  They also say nails were found in the tires of vehicles driving past the picketers. 
Union spokesperson John Paul Smith says the claims are unwarranted and is calling the accusations a "smear campagin." 
"Honeywell sent the letter to our union the exact moment they sent it to the media," explained Smith. "That's not something you do when you see and issue and want to work that issue out. The union has not condoned, nor will it ever condone, any misconduct." 
Despite the claims, both sides will resume negotiations on Monday morning in Paducah.
"We have re-evaluated our proposals to make sure we cover what our membership has mandated us to cover," said Smith. "First and foremost that is job security."
Honeywell claims the union is making unrealistic demands for 5% pay increases, but locked out workers say they want to make sure the new contract holds Honeywell accountable for keeping the same number of union jobs available.  
"We could have a contract tomorrow," said Smith. "The union will sit down and negotiate a contract. If we get an agreement or not will be dependent upon how willing the company is to come in and do the same thing."   
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