Advertisement

Union workers at Cinetic Landis vote against contract proposal

Letter informs employees the company might take its work to Europe

March 11, 2011|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • Cinetic Landis Corporation's new location on Halfway Boulevard in Hagerstown. Members of the union representing 40 workers at Cinetic Landis in Hagerstown voted unanimously last week against a contract proposal from the French-owned manufacturing company, which may move its operations to Europe, according to a union representative.
Herald-Mail file photo

Members of the union representing 40 workers at Cinetic Landis in Hagerstown voted unanimously last week against a contract proposal from the French-owned manufacturing company, which may move its operations to Europe, according to a union representative.

"We took back what we had to vote on, and the employees voted it down 36-0," said Tom Krause, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 992.

A few of the union workers were on vacation when the vote was taken on March 4, Krause said.

On Feb. 28, a letter was distributed to employees informing them the company might "have our work moved to and performed by other Company operations in Europe," according to a union news release.

Cinetic Landis, purchased by the France-based Fives Group in 2005, manufactures precision grinding machinery and spindles used by the automotive industry and manufacturers such as Caterpillar, Krause said.

"They just said the jobs could be gone, could be moved to Europe," Krause said.

Plant managers called a meeting with the union workers to discuss the letter, Krause said.

Krause said Thursday that he would have to confer with legal counsel about whether the letter could be released. He said Friday that he had not received word on the newspaper's request.

Michael J. Rock, the director of Human Resources at Cinetic Landis,  said Friday afternoon that the company plans to respond to the union, but the response would have to be approved by the Fives Group, which was closed for business for the weekend.

Krause declined to discuss details of the contract offer that the union members rejected. The union's three-year contract expired in January, and it has been working without a contract since then, he said.

"We're trying to get back to the bargaining table," and the union's attorney has been in discussions with the company attorney, Krause said.

"Both sides have several options" if the contract impasse cannot be resolved, Krause said.

"The company is threatening employees who are exercising their legal rights, under U.S. federal law, to bargain together about their working conditions on the job," the news release said.

Employees and management have been meeting since January to discuss working conditions, the release said.

In 2009, the company asked for mid-contract extensions, and workers asked the company to open its books "to see if concessions were needed," the release said. The company refused to do so, the release said.

Cinetic Landis moved from Waynesboro, Pa., to Hagerstown in 2008, occupying a 108,700-square-foot building on Halfway Boulevard.

There were 120 employees at the plant in 2010, according to the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission's 2010 Business & Industry Directory.

Advertisement
The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|