FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
So, about that union job security…
Did the Machinists' union help its members shoot themselves in the feet?
Talk about a rocky relationship ending badly…
First, the union boss scolded his members for sharing information with their co-workers about what was going on behind closed doors at the bargaining table. Then, a couple of weeks ago, some individual(s) beat up the union boss.
Now, things are going to get a lot more tense in East Alton, Illinois. On Wednesday, after workers represented by the International Association of Machinists voted down a contract offer for the second time, they learned that their employer was not bluffing about moving their jobs to Mississippi.
The Olin Corp. said Wednesday that it will put its money where its mouth is — in Mississippi.
A day after union workers rejected for a second time a contract that might have saved their jobs, the Metro East company told them it was moving about 1,000 ammunition production jobs from Metro East to Oxford, Miss.
As members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 9 left the East Alton catering hall where the ballots were tallied Tuesday night, more than a few of the employees ventured that Olin was bluffing.
The company, they maintained, had no intention of following through on its threat to move their jobs. On Wednesday, Olin called their bluff by announcing that it would build a 500,000-square-foot facility when it moves its ammunitions operations.
According to an Olin news release, Mississippi provided “‘significant incentives” to entice the manufacturer to expand production near a current Olin plant.
Joseph Rupp, the chairman, president and CEO of Clayton-based Olin, pointed the finger at the workers’ failure to accept a contract that guaranteed seven years of job security in exchange for reductions in vacation time, an elimination of a matching company contribution to retirement plans and other incentives.
“While I am disappointed that employees … chose to reject a proposal that would have allowed us to remain competitive in East Alton, we look forward to expanding our existing operations in Mississippi,” Rupp said in a prepared statement.
Given that the Machinists’ is the same union that thought Boeing was bluffing about moving to South Carolina last year, ya just gotta wonder if there’s any correlation between the union’s job performance as a union and the newly formed Union of Unemployed…
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776