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Garden State management, union plan to meet today

June 05, 2003|by LAURA ERNDE

Following a judge's order, Garden State Tanning management and union representatives have scheduled a meeting for today to discuss contract negotiations.

But Bobby Colvin, president of the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees, said he doubts the company will make a serious counteroffer to end the five-day-old strike.

Company President and Chief Operating Officer Mark D. Lecher has said the final contract offer was not clearly communicated to workers. Lecher was out of the office Wednesday and could not be reached for comment.

Colvin said the union might ask that federal mediators get involved.

Some of Garden State's 750 union workers say the company has not offered sufficient pay, pension or health-care benefits.

On Tuesday, Washington County Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III signed a temporary restraining order to keep the picketing orderly at the company's two plants in Williamsport and at its headquarters off Maugans Avenue.

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Boone also ordered both sides back to the bargaining table within 48 hours.

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