Hope for a quick end to a strike in Auburn disappeared Thursday when workers met and overwhelmingly said no to a new contract offer. YNN's Bill Carey says the TRW auto parts plant may be facing a lengthy walkout.
CAYUGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- Even as workers gathered to hear the details of a supposed tentative deal, it was clear they were unhappy. The seeds of that discontent sewn three years ago with a contract in the midst of an economic decline.
“They took a dollar away. They took vacation time away. They tripled some of the people's insurances. They took a holiday away. They took the night premiums away. They just took everything away,” said John Gagliano.
With a recovery underway, workers say it’s time for a major change.
“We deserve what we need to get. They got what they want. Now it's our turn to get what we want. We got to have more support, more money. More to live, you know. A lot more to live,” Richard Crawford said.
But the tentative deal was little changed from an offer rejected by the rank and file last weekend. The company still seeking significant changes in schedules and not coming close to the wage demands the workers say they've made.
“They're giving us nothing. They want us to work 10 to 12 hour shifts. I mean, it's ridiculous, without giving us anything. You know?” Tammy Jordan said.
“These people don't know how to bargain. They come in there like a bully in a schoolyard. They make demands. They haven't heard nothing we said,” said Thomas Rusin.
There was celebration when the vote was taken and the latest offer was rejected, 128 to 10. That celebration continuing in the form of a noisy motorcade from union headquarters back to the plant on the outskirts of Auburn. A plant that could face a lengthy walkout.
What remains unclear is, with the two sides so far apart on the details of any agreement, just how long this work stoppage might continue.
Neither the company, nor union leaders, are saying when negotiations might resume.