Honywell Lockout Impacting Local Businesses

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By Matthew Searcy

METROPOLIS --  Locked out workers at the Honeywell plant in Metropolis will not be back on the job anytime soon. Negotiations are on hold until October, putting local businesses in a pinch. 

 
"They're in here a lot," said Yesterady's BBQ waitress Sierra Lagore. "They come in here for breakfast, and a lot of them come in for lunch as well." 
 
Yesterday's BBQ is a regular dining spot for Honeywell workers. It's located just down the road from the plant. Staff members say the business relies heavily on sales from locked out union members. 
 
"They support us a lot," said Lagore.  
 
Just one month into the lockout, the business has already seen a small decrease in customers. The drop is causing staff to adjust their plans.  
 
"We've been open now for a little over four years, and we haven't changed our prices at all," said Lagore. "We really need to do that, but with this thing going on at Honeywell, we don't know if we will be able to." 
 
Owners say they may have to cut back on expenses if the lockout lingers. This isn't the first time local shops or Honeywell union members have dealt with the issue.  
 
"Our membership has been here before," said union spokesperson John Paul Smith. "The last lockout made us a stronger and smarter union. The membership is holding strong. They gave us a mandate not to come back without an agreement that is not acceptable." 
 
Honeywell locked out workers for 14 months in 2010 and 2011 during a contract dispute. The two sides remain apart on pay, job security and healthcare benefits. 
 
"Hopefully we can continue to negotiate, get a fair agreement and bring it back for a vote," said Smith. "We are committed to bargaining until we do so." 
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