Sheet Metal Local 2 Striking Workers

Sheet Metal Local 2 employees at Albany’s Johnson Controls plant are striking against the company, citing deteriorating working conditions, stagnant wages and low hazard pay making the contract unsignable. Union members state they had no other option than to go on strike against their employer.

Employees of Johnson Controls in Albany, Missouri, went on strike after employees couldn’t come to an agreement on their contract with the company. Beginning the morning of May 18th, majority of the workers have been picketing outside of the facility.

The contract expired March 31 and employees and the company had been negotiating through March but were unable to come to an agreement that employees would accept, causing them to go on strike.

Greg Chastain, the business manager at Sheet Metal Workers Local 2, said members had a ratification vote on the company proposal on May 15 and it was overwhelmingly defeated.

“There’s no hazard pay, they’ve worked every single day of this pandemic as essential workers and they’ve received no hazard pay and have received very little support as far as any PPE to protect the health of them and their families,” Chastain said.

Chastain said the company recently started providing personal protective equipment only in recent weeks.

“For the last four years the concern has been about the working conditions as far as required overtime and the nonflexible attendance policy that the company institutes,” Chastain said.

Chastain said Johnson Controls employees will be on strike until they receive an agreement or receive something from the company to show progress in negotiations.

“The workers are looking for some relief on flexible hours so they can start working to make a living instead of living to work,” Chastain said.

The majority of employees at Albany’s Johnson Controls plant striking against the company, cite deteriorating working conditions, stagnant wages and low hazard pay making the contract unsignable.

Employees said Johnson Controls expect workers to work excessive overtime; requiring employees to work six 10 hour days in a row, including Saturdays.

Sheet Metal Local 2 union representatives said the assembly line only receives one Saturday off a month.

Members said they had no other option than to go on strike against their employer.

“There needs to be some balance between personal lives and work life,” said David Steele, union representative told KQ2 reporter.

Albany is a tight knit community and in support of the workers asking for family friendly hours and competitive pay.

Workers state the factory is currently being run by management who are not qualified to be working inside the plant.

Employees said they are committed to seeing this strike through until the company renegotiates their contracts.

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