Friday, March 18, 2011
Armstrong Plant Workers Warn of Strike
Manufacturing workers at the Beverly, W. Va., plant of Armstrong World Industries' (Lancaster, Pa.) are threatening to stop working if management does not meet their demands for a revised labor agreement. In February, the Armstrong workers rejected a contract proposal that would that would have cut benefits and increased their health care contributions.
The workers rallied today to "warn investors of labor problems that could hurt the flooring giant's 2011 recovery efforts," according to a press release. Recently, counsel for the workers' union, Teamsters Local Union 175 in South Charleston, W. Va., sent a letter to Armstrong's investors detailing how the work stoppage in Beverly could spread to six other plants in 2011 that have expiring labor agreements, potentially affecting 1,500 workers. The stoppages could lead to "widespread service disruptions," according to the release.
"The last thing we want is a strike, but Armstrong's new management, under the direction of private equity, just continues to back our members into a corner," said Ken Hall, Teamsters International vice president and president of Teamsters Local Union 175.
On April 29, Armstrong will idle its Statesville, N.C. engineered wood flooring plant.