Union workers will return to Casting Technologies

May 18, 2001

Union workers will return to Casting Technologies

By RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro

Striking workers at a small foundry on Clayton Avenue voted Thursday to return to their jobs after a 2 1/2-week walkout produced little in the way of better pay, benefits and working conditions, a union spokesman said.

"The guys are not real happy with what they've been offered, but they're going back," said Darryl Bowman, shop steward for Teamsters Local 992, which represents 28 production workers at Casting Technologies Inc.

The union rank-and-file voted 14-10 to return to work on Monday morning, Bowman said.

The vote to strike was 18-6. Four union members did not vote on the walkout, including two who are on sick leave, one on layoff and one too new to the union to have up-to-date dues, union members said.

Bowman said the company, which is owned by Al Cogan and his son, Mark, made an offer Thursday that lacked much of what the union members walked out for on May 1 - better pay, benefits and better and safer working conditions, Bowman said.


The Cogans have refused to comment.

The union's three-year contract expired at midnight April 30. Production stopped at the foundry, which makes castings for other industries. Only the Cogans, three supervisors and a secretary were working during the strike.

"The company made an offer last week that was even less than what they offered today," Bowman said.

Adding to the strikers' anxiety were threats made this week by the owners to fire the union members and replace them with new employees, union members said.

Bowman said union workers also angry over the way the company negotiated.

"They never sat down directly with us. It was always just their lawyer talking to George Woods," Bowman said. "It was all done over the phone and by faxes."

Woods is the secretary, treasurer and principal officer of Local 992 in the union's Hagerstown headquarters. He was also the Waynesboro workers' bargaining agent. He did not return phone calls Thursday.

Waynesboro police were called to the picket line several times earlier this week when strikers tried to block the owners and supervisors from entering the plant.

The picketers backed off when police arrived and their were no incidents, said Waynesboro Police Chief Ray Shultz.

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