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Man arrested at Redland Brick plant

July 29, 1999|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

WILLIAMSPORT - Washington County Sheriff's deputies on Tuesday made an arrest at the Redland Brick Co. plant, the first since members of the Teamsters union went on strike on June 18.

Harold Wesley Shipley Jr., age unknown, of 134 Sunset Ave., Williamsport, was charged with one count of second-degree assault after a plant security guard was kicked at 6:32 p.m. Tuesday, deputies said.

Shipley was taken before a bond commissioner and released on personal recognizance, deputies said.

The security guard, Ian Jones, had been checking for foreign objects on the roadside across from Redland plant on Clear Spring Road.

As Jones approached the entrance of the plant, a man tried to trip him by placing his leg between Jones' legs, deputies alleged. As Jones tried to move away, he was kicked in the leg, they said.

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Members of the security team videotaped the incident, deputies said.

Shipley was one of three employees fired by Redland as a result of the strike, according to Darl Shreve, Teamsters Local 992 business agent.

The union appealed the firings but Shreve said Redland officials have put the decision about whether to rehire the workers "on hold."

Redland CEO James Vinke was on vacation this week and other company officials did not return phone calls.

Under a restraining order issued July 1 by Washington County Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone, strikers can be fined up to $500 if they threaten other employees or vandalize Redland property.

Shreve said the union has not been notified about whether Shipley might be subject to a fine.

No new negotiations have been scheduled between the striking union workers and Redland Brick Co. officials, said Shreve.

The two sides failed to reach accord in a session last week, and strikers did not vote on a contract offer on July 22.

Redland officials have since withdrawn the offer and have begun interviewing and hiring replacement workers.

The company said in a letter to Teamsters that the replacement workers might be hired permanently.

The Clear Spring Road plant has been shut down since the strike began on June 18. Inventory has been shipped out by replacement workers.

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