Steelworkers respond as lockout continues at Monroe County plant

UNION, W.Va. — A labor dispute that has halted production at a Monroe County aerospace plant heads into its second week following the holiday weekend.

Members of United Steel Workers Local 1449 say they’ve been locked out by Collins Aerospace. Production at the Union-based plant stopped last Monday.

The union, which includes 250 members at Collins, released a statement Friday saying the workers were locked out after just two weeks of bargaining for a new contract.

“Collins Aerospace must be made accountable for its decision to hold our jobs, families and community hostage over issues that should be resolved through collective bargaining,” the union said. “Management needs to end this lockout immediately, return these workers to their jobs and resolve our differences at the table.”

Company officials released their own statement earlier this week saying they were disappointed union members failed to ratify “a fair contract offer that would recognize and reward our employees’ contributions while keeping us competitive.”

The company said its proposal increased pay, lowered health insurance premiums, provided bonus pay and additional sick leave.

“Collins has a structure in place to continue operations and we do not expect this to impact delivering on our commitments to our customers,” the statement said.

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