In Cayuga County, 150 workers have walked off the job at an auto parts plant in Auburn after rejecting a company contract offer. YNN's Bill Carey says the strikers are complaining they shared economic pain with the company, but aren't being allowed to share in economic gain.
AUBURN, N.Y. -- The year 2009 was a tough one for the auto industry, in the midst of a massive economic decline. Workers at TRW, an auto parts factory, agreed, during the hard times, to make contract concessions.
But three years later, and with business in the auto industry picking up, workers say they've been waiting for the company to start giving back.
“Instead of giving people the big bonuses, the CEO and the presidents and that, why would them give them it and not give us anything. We are the ones that provide them. We make the product to go out,” said striking worker Richard Crawford.
“It's always the top of the corporates, gets all the bonuses and the raises. And they get the bonuses, also, if our contracts go through. So we fell it's about time for us to get a piece of that,” striking worker Gene Adams said.
There was also growing concern over mandatory overtime. One worker, who asked to be identified only as Judy, says there has to be a change in work load.
Judy said, “Everybody's getting wiped out. Everybody's tired.”
“How many hours you work a week?” our reporter asked.
“What are we working? Fifty? Fifty-eight. Fifty-eight a week,” Judy replied.
The members of the International Chemical Workers Local 192-C gathered this past weekend to look over the latest company offer. When the workers reviewed the contract proposals Sunday night, they were unhappy with its clauses covering wages and work schedules. The vote against the contract proposal was overwhelming. So early Tuesday, they walked off the job. Not sure just when they might return.
Adams said, “Well, the way we feel, as long as it takes. We're standing strong.”
The company is declining to discuss the contract dispute.
Contract talks between the two sides in the TRW strike are set to resume on Wednesday.