Monday, March 06, 2006

Lock this out mofo's

AK STEEL: Lockout 'corporate greed at its finest' says Butler, Pa., union leader
Pa., union president shares thoughts on lockout, sale rumor

The Middletown Journal

As members of the Armco Employees Independent Federation continued to staff picket lines at most of the gates at AK Steel Corp.’s Middletown Works, the president of another union paid a visit to Middletown late Friday and Saturday to get a first-hand look at what may be on the horizon for his membership.

Jim Gallagher, president of the United Auto Workers Local 3303 that represents AK employees at its Butler, Pa., facility, came down to Middletown to lend his support to the more than 2,600 AEIF employees who were locked-out Tuesday by AK after contract negotiations failed to reach a settlement.

“I just think the whole thing could have been avoided,” Gallagher said. “The company could have kept talking to the union while they kept working.”

Money AK is spending on extra security and hotels for replacement workers could have gone toward an agreement with the AEIF, he said.

“This situation is corporate greed at its finest,” he said.

As to some of the moves made by AK prior to the lockout, Gallagher said the company videotape sent to employees backfired. The video, which Gallagher said he believed was designed to intimidate employees, instead brought the AEIF closer together.

“AK Steel is a great union organizer,” Gallagher said. “(The video) showed they really don’t understand.

“Hopefully they’ll get to a settlement,” he said. “It’s early and pretty calm now. But is weighs a lot on a person to watch scabs go in each day at the plant.

“AK’s MO is to lock them out,” he said.

Continued...

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