CLARKSBURG, W.Va., Sept. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that the illegal lockout at Europtec USA, Inc.'s Clarksburg glass processing plant could cost the company more than $200,000 in back wages owed to 29 members of Local 567 over the last ten weeks. Region 6 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) determined last month that the company broke federal labor laws on July 11, 2016, when it locked the gates on union workers.
The union last met with the company on Sept. 1, and bargaining is scheduled to resume on Oct. 5. While the NLRB case proceeds, Europtec's liability for back pay grows at a rate of approximately $20,000 per week.
USW District 8 Director Billy Thompson called on the company to end its illegal lockout immediately, drop demands for sweeping wage and benefit concessions that would cost individual workers thousands of dollars and return to the table to negotiate with the USW in good faith for a fair contract.
"Despite the NLRB's clear intention to prosecute Europtec for violating the law in its drive to force unfair and unnecessary concessions on our members," Thompson said, "management has not changed its reckless position or strategy."
Having already determined that Europtec illegally implemented the company's "last, best and final" contract proposal in the absence of a legal bargaining impasse in February 2016, the NLRB issued another complaint on Aug. 29, 2016, alleging the lockout itself to be illegal.
"Our members, families and community have earned and deserve this company's respect," Thompson said. "Instead, Europtec management has already indicated that its contract proposals will not change when negotiations resume next month."
The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and service occupations.
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SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)