January 28, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Minneapolis, MN – Workers at Honeywell factories in Indiana and upstate New York have been locked out for more than eight months—and Teamsters Local 1145 members fear that 1,000 workers in the Twin Cities might be next.
The contract covering four plants in the area expires Jan. 31, and the union says the two sides are far apart. Local 1145 members rejected a contract offer by a 9-1 margin Dec. 31, and voted to authorize a strike. That proposal, the union says, would have frozen workers’ pensions, eliminated health care for both future and past retirees, and allowed the company to lay workers off without regard to seniority. While the locked-out workers in South Bend, Ind., and Green Island, N.Y. are United Auto Workers members, Local 1145 secretary-treasurer Dave Hedberg said, they have been dealing with “the same exact issues or ones very, very similar to those we are dealing with.” Federal mediators will be aiding the contract talks, but Honeywell has already hired 200 scabs to work in case of a lockout, he added. Read more