Contract Talks On Hold Between Honeywell and Union Workers

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By Matthew Searcy

METROPOLIS -- It will be another two weeks before negotiations start again at the Honeywell Plant.   

Union workers were locked out by a company leader on Friday night, and the two sides won't meet until August 18th.
 
"We gave up a lot in order to go back," said union member Richard Greene. "I don't see that happening this time. What they are offering us is purely ridiculous." 
 
Greene has worked at the plant since 2005 and says union jobs are becoming more scarce at Honeywell.  
 
"When I first started we had over 300 union members," explained Greene. "Now we are down to half of that." 
 
Union members want to make sure the new contract holds Honeywell accountable for keeping the same number of union jobs available.    
 
"Let's say we are laid off," said Greene. "They want to be able to replace us with a sub-contractor. They are slowing doing away with union members, one after another." 
 
A spokesperson for Honeywell says money is the issue that led to the lockout and accuses union members of asking for unrealistic pay increases of 5% per year for three years. 
 
"They think we are holding out for money, we are not," said union member John Ferguson. "We are holding out for job security." 
 
Ferguson has been with Honeywell for 8 years and was working his shift at the plant when this lockout first began.  
 
"They read a statement saying they were going to lock us out, escorted us to our locker room to get our gear, and said to get out," explained Ferguson.   
 
The lockout is impacting 135 union employees. Workers say they will continue picketing until their demands are met.  
 
"Now they are playing these games where they can lay us off at anytime and never call us back again," said Ferguson.  
 
Honeywell officials say the locked out positions have been filled with fully-trained and qualified salaried personnel.  
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