A Teamsters strike over disgraceful attacks on pay and conditions enters a third week

A Teamsters strike over disgraceful attacks on pay and conditions enters a third week

Over sixty workers at the Grand Rapids Gravel Company in Wyoming are now in the third week of a strike over proposed pay cuts and vicious attacks on conditions. The bosses have brought in scabs and private security.

Workers at Grand Rapid make up to $17.40 an hour – depending on length of service. The bosses are insisting that they take a $6 an hour pay cut.

Other changes to terms and conditions include – reducing holiday entitlement to just two weeks a year – reducing overtime pay by 75% - and the cancellation of retiree health insurance.

An unnamed worker said that,

“Some guys make less than $25,000 they are already in poverty they’re the breadwinners of their family. This is a seasonal business they’re laid off for 6 months in the winter time.”

Another worker reported that,

“These guys got a lot of years in here, a lot of years. And think that we are disposable because they want to bust down the union – that’s the only thing they want to do. They want to bust the union down at any expense even to the point if it causes this company to go bankrupt. It’s an 87 year-old company and they would actually be willing to bankrupt it to prove their point. We made them millions - Mr. Dykema (the business owner) when he first bought the company stood up at his Christmas party and he says, ‘I can’t believe how much money there is in redi-mix!’ And I’ll never forget that, never forget that,”

The bosses at Grand Rapids have claimed that the health and pension plans cost around 20% more than their competitors - and need to reduce wages accordingly.

All is not well with the scabs that the bosses have brought in. Pickets have reported the following.

Picketing Teamsters were highly entertained on Day 15:

......some excitement, besides wrecking 10' of thousands of $$$ of product and services......one of the scabs fell asleep and the pump ran dry....then KA-BOOOM!!!..the wet cement exploded all over everyone and everything!!!! ......but @ least it was a quality explosion.......try to top that tomorrow...........Jim Chase.
And on Day 16:

.....good day, 8 scabs got fired today ( one was the clown who fell asleep, and let the pump explode, blasting wet cement all over the place) (nobody hurt, except for the companies feelings and bank account).......new plan, hire local scabs......then they have an unlimited supply of vagrants and characters coming out of the Kent County lockup!!!....the company probably will not work Sat or Sun....that's good for them, they may save themselves $60,000 in damages--not occurring!!!........Teamsters B.A.-- Jim Chase.

Solidarity with the Teamsters at Grand Rapids!

Posted By

working class s...
Aug 7 2012 00:52


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