Posted March 2, 2012 at 4:11 pm, in Union Matters
In the summer of 2010, the members of United Steelworkers Local 2598 at Haynes International bucked the then sputtering economy and negotiated a fair deal for the nearly 500 employees at the Kokomo, Ind. facility. The nearly 75 workers at a sister plant in Arcadia, La. took notice and began to organize themselves. In the face of Hayne’s anti-union campaign, the workers voted more than 2-to-1 in in favor of USW representation in September 2010.
Since then, for 17 months, Haynes has refused to settle a first contract with the Arcadia workers’ local. A major sticking point has been Haynes’ refusal to incorporate language from the Kokomo contract—which has been in place for 50 years— in its proposals. Fed up with the negotiating tactics by management, production workers from the Kokomo plant traveled to Indianapolis on Feb. 27, to confront Haynes management and shareholders about corporate mistreatment of workers at their sister plant in Arcadia.
“The Arcadia workers could not attend themselves as they currently have no scheduled time off. So we gathered about 20 members from Kokomo, as well as labor union activists from the Indianapolis area, to send a message,” said USW District 7 Representative Keith Olmstead. “It’s time for a deal!”
Furthermore, Haynes’ improving financial performance has dictated that it end its tactics at the negotiating table. Haynes is one of the world’s largest producers of high-performance alloys, which are sold primarily in the aerospace, chemical processing and land-based gas turbine industries. The company reported to shareholders that 2011 revenues increased 42% and that its net income tripled from $9 million to $31 million over the past year. Haynes CEO Mark Comerford has been rewarded with bonuses of more than $500,000 for two consecutive years. (more…)