2/20/08

Locked-out union rejected three offers

Locked out steelworkers received a display of support from another area union Monday and a monetary contribution from the United Steelworkers International. Members of the National Association of Letter Carriers Union braved frigid temperatures Monday as a display of solidarity with the 270 United Steelworker Local 3141 Union members who have been locked out of Griffin Pipe, 2601 Ninth Ave., since Jan. 27.

Approximately 20 letter carriers joined the picket line on their President's Day holiday. Union President Scott Punteney said the show of support was appreciated.

Over the weekend the union received a contribution from the United Steelworker International's Strike in Defense Fund - even though the union is locked out and not on strike - to assist union members financially as the lockout starts its fourth week.

The lockout was the result of failed contract negotiations, according to representatives of Griffin Pipe. The work agreement expired in November 2007, and the union rejected three proposals prior to the lockout.

Punteney said they have tried to arrange meetings to renegotiate, but the company has not set a date for discussions.

Community support and donations continue to be steady, Punteney said. Donations have been received from the Council Bluffs Association of Professional Firefighters Local 15 and United Steelworkers Local 795, who work at Omaha Standard.

A five-member union panel is distributing all contributions to union members according to need.

(zwire.com)

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