Union Members Support Striking Workers

Teamsters support striking union members

Sheet Metal Workers Local 2 approach their fifth week on strike at the Silgan Containers Plant in St Joseph. The members continue to walk the picket line from sun up to sundown and continue to stay strong. In the past four weeks, meetings with the company have been limited to only three.

The issues at the table remain the same. The company wishes to change the working hours that will disrupt the members lives. With their proposal, the members would not have any consistent days off. The company has not shown any
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concern of how this work schedule would impact members lives. It would have a particularly adverse effect on members with children and finding child care. Union leadership has continually told Silgan the members work to make a living to provide for their families, they do not live to work. The only concern the company has expressed is in their production numbers.

Silgan will not negotiate. Just imagine going in to negotiations and one side coming in and laying down their contract changes and saying “Take it or leave it. That is not negotiating.

These workers are “crucial workers”. They went to work every day placing their safety and health in jeopardy while setting production records to help the company increase their profits. Unfortunately, we live in a society where corporate greed is destroying the middle class and corporations are not being held accountable. Since 1978, CEO pay has grown by 940% while the typical worker compensation has only raised 12%.

“Striking Sheet Metal Local 2 workers appreciate the support members are receiving from the community and especially the labor community. For instance, last week the Teamsters brought their big rig up to the picket line and several Teamsters walked the picket line with our members. The striking union members truly appreciated the show of support and solidarity.” said SMART Local 2 Business Manager, Greg Chastain.

St Joseph is a smaller community where things like this have an even more drastic impact. In this community, everyone knows everyone. Notably, former Missouri state representative Martin Rucker works for Silgan Container and is a member of SMART Local 2.

Mike Veale, President NW MO Central Labor Council stated, “For me it is a classic display of corporate greed that in today’s world they have used the Coronavirus to drive down wages and benefits.”

“In my 35 years of dealing with Unions and contracts I have never seen a more unified group. I am extremely proud of the Local 2 members and their leadership representing them in this fight. Going on strike is hard. These brothers and sisters are on the picket line in the heat. One thing that would help these Local 2 members is water. The heat is bad and they need to stay hydrated. Any support of water would be greatly appreciated.” said Mike Veale.

Teamsters support fellow union members

Teamsters support fellow union members

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