4/5/08

UFCW strikers slapped with TRO

Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort has filed a temporary restraining order against the union workers who are striking outside of the casino. The scene on the picket line in Chester (WV) was different on Friday night than in the past in that there were only six picketers allowed at each gate. Before Friday, there were no limits set.

Mountaineer has issued a temporary restraining order limiting the number of strikers, the noise level on site, and making a safety zone, which puts regulations near the exits and entrances.

Mountaineer released video to NEWS9, which showed striking workers walking out in the middle of the entrance and approaching cars.

Mountaineer released a statement to NEWS9 that stated the order was sought by Mountaineer out of concern for the safety of patrons, employees, suppliers and those on the picket line.

Meanwhile NEWS9 headed back to the picket line on Friday to hear what strikers think of the order.

"So far, everybody has respected the injunction,” said Elaine Kuhar, an organizer of the strike with Local 23. “And we're all respectfully following it."

While the union members told NEWS9 they will comply, they are fighting one part of the order, which states they can't use a bullhorn on the line.

“It’s a matter of free speech,” said Kuhar. “It’s an effective way of getting it out to the community and to the public, of what's going on, what the issues are.”

Many strikers told NEWS9 they'll stay outside, rain or shine, regardless of the judge's order.

"No, it hasn't affected us,” said Dorothy Heffner, a cashier at Mountaineer. “We're still going strong.”

A union spokesman told NEWS9 that he plans to fight the bullhorn issue in court next week.

The judge's order only lasts for 10 days, so Mountaineer will also return to court next week to address that issue.

(wtov9.com)

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