11/8/07

Judge issues TRO against lingering strikers

A temporary restraining order was issued Wednesday against striking employees at Wise Alloys that prevents them from harassing workers as they come and go at the plant.

The injunction was issued by Colbert County Circuit Court Judge Hal Hughston Jr. It prevents striking employees from harassing or attempting to impede anyone from entering or leaving the company’s facilities.

Most employees who went on strike Thursday have since returned to work pending ratification of new labor contracts. Members of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 320 returned to work at the reclamation facility on Ford Road. Members of the Steelworkers local, responsible for operating production jobs at the main plant on Second Street, and eight members of Carpenter’s Local 1209 have also agreed to return to work.

Maintenance and security employees who are members of North Alabama Building and Construction Trades Council and the International Association of Machinists and whose jobs are being outsourced, remained on strike Wednesday.

Company officials with Wise Alloys said after a tentative agreement between Wise management and the Steelworkers Local was reached Monday evening, the employees attempted to return to their jobs Tuesday morning. Wise officials said Steelworkers union employees were being intimidated at the employee entrance to the plant by employees who are still on strike.

Wise officials said several Steelworkers union employees, who were heading in to work at different shift times Tuesday, indicated they had been threatened with physical harm to them, their families and their property if they were to return to work.

Charles Lamon, assistant business manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 558, scoffed at the company’s claims that union members are harassing and threatening people who were attempting to leave or enter Wise.

“We’re a peaceful group,” he said. “We don’t want any trouble.”

Wise officials reported that nearly all of the Steelworkers union employees who reported to work for the 8 a.m. shift Wednesday were able to cross the picket line.

(timesdaily.com)

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