October 8, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
South Bend, IN- Nearly five months into the lockout at Honeywell’s aircraft-brakes factory here, workers believe the company’s ultimate aim is to drive the United Auto Workers out.
“Bottom line, they want to get rid of the union completely,” UAW Local 9 member Allan Enright, 59, told the British Guardian while picketing outside the plant. Honeywell locked out 316 UAW members in South Bend and 42 in in Green Island, New York on May 9 after they rejected a contract that would have raised their health-insurance costs by several thousand dollars a year and let the company change their policies without consent from the union. “We are offering the same health-care benefits available to nearly all other Honeywell employees in the U.S.,” a company spokesperson said. “The unilateral health-care changes are unacceptable to us,” Local 9 recording secretary Bryan Rodgers responded. Honeywell, which made an all-time high of $4.77 billion in profit last year, has been using workers from Strom Engineering, a Minnesota-based staffing agency that specializes in scabs. The UAW is beginning to argue that the federal government should not give contracts to the company as long as the lockout continues. Read more