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Redland Brick protesters injured

June 29, 1999|By Kimberly Yakowski

WILLIAMSPORT - Three Redland Brick picketers were injured Tuesday afternoon when they were struck by a truck hauling bricks from the plant, according to Glenn Jordan, Teamsters shop steward.

Two workers and another shop steward were picketing at the entrance of the plant at noon when the accident occurred, he said.

"They were pretty scared," he said.

The truck was "going at a crawl," said Jordan, who said he witnessed the incident.

One of the victim's " shirt got snagged on the truck and he had to rip it away," he said.

The men received minor injuries and were not taken to the hospital, he said.

The picketers who have been at the plant around-the-clock, try to stay out of the way of cars entering and leaving the property, he said.

Washington County Sheriff's deputies have been stationed at the plant since last week.

Deputies could provide no information about Tuesday's incident.

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A woman that answered the telephone Tuesday evening at the home of Redland plant general manager Douglas Sevick said he would not speak to reporters.

Union workers have been picketing the Williamsport plant since their contract expired at midnight June 18. The union has claimed that the company's vacation policy is unfair.

Workers voted down a proposal by Redland that would have raised the average worker's pay from $13.50 to $14.20, plus benefits.

A negotiation meeting is scheduled for today.

Tuesday's accident was the second incident at the plant since picketing began.

On June 22, plastic strips used to package brick shipments were vandalized and nails were dumped in the parking lot at Redland.

Jordan denied any union involvement.

Many employees were upset when replacement workers were brought in on Tuesday, said Jordan.

The employees were hired to load stockpiled bricks onto trucks. The plant's main kiln is being repaired and bricks are not currently being made, he said.

"It was a major mistake for them to get scab workers - tempers were calming down. Today (Tuesday) they were furious," he said.

Despite the recent acrimony, Jordan said he believes an agreement can be reached today.

"I think the company will have something to offer," he said.

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