Profitable Elk Grove Village Plant Puts Labor Peace in Jeopardy
ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill., Oct. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Building materials manufacturer Rollex is making radical demands to cut workers' wages and benefits while claiming the company's profits have nothing to do with its proposals.
Teamsters Local 727 represents about 80 workers at the Elk Grove Village facility, where they manufacture aluminum siding products for home exteriors.
After weeks of negotiations, Rollex management has refused to back down from its initial proposals to slash members' wages and benefits by up to $8 an hour, which would put many members' earnings below the federal poverty line.
"When a profitable company like Rollex wants to attack a worker's livelihood, family and way of life, that is a heinous act," said John Coli Jr., President of Teamsters Local 727. "Management is trying to take away everything our members have earned in their decades of working for this company. Their proposals are beyond unreasonable; they are deplorable."
Rollex management has refused the union's repeated requests for financial documents, but has yet to deny the company is profitable. During the last negotiation session on Oct. 18, the company's attorney emphasized Rollex is still looking for extreme cuts, adding that "the company's profits have nothing to do with our wage proposals."
"Rollex management isn't even pretending that these drastic cuts are necessary in order to sustain their business," Coli said. "The truth is, they don't need to make cuts to remain profitable. End of story."
Meanwhile, recent figures from the U.S. Commerce Department show that newly built-single family homes are on the rise and have reached a four-year high. The National Association of Home Builders also has said confidence among builders had reached a six-year high.
Teamsters Local 727 negotiated its first contract with Rollex in 1965, and it has been more than a decade since the last labor conflict. However, the company's unreasonable demands are threatening that long-standing relationship and forcing its hardworking members to consider a work stoppage.
"Our bargaining committee is trying to move things along in order to secure a new contract, but we cannot agree to management's outrageous proposals simply to speed up the process," Coli said.
The final two negotiation meetings are scheduled for Oct. 25-26. The current four-year contract expires Oct. 31.
SOURCE Teamsters Local 727