Employees at Prysmian Group plant in Scottsville will be on strike for three weeks as of this Saturday, with an incident breaking out at the plant Tuesday morning.
According to Harrison County Sheriff’s Office Police Information Officer Jay Webb, at about 7 a.m. Tuesday, a worker on strike at the plant attempted to step in front of a vehicle entering the plant with a worker who is not on strike.
The striker allegedly blocked the vehicle's path entering the plant, and swung a sign at the vehicle. The striker also claims that the vehicle struck him as it entered.
A passenger in the vehicle exited the vehicle after a verbal altercation occurred. The passenger then allegedly hit the striker and then got into the vehicle and drove into the plant.
Webb continued to say that that was when deputies were called to the scene, and the passenger of the vehicle who was accused to hitting the striker was issued a citation for a Class C assault and given directions to contact the justice of the peace court for further information.
“In cases of this type of Class C assault, it is not uncommon to issue a citation,” Webb explained.
Prysmian Group Head of Marketing and Communication Rebecca Mesnil said, “We are aware of an incident involving a Prysmian Group employee. We don’t condone violent behavior and are currently investigating the situation,”
She continued, “Regarding the current strike, we are hopeful we can come to a resolution.”
United Auto Workers union representatives did not respond to requests for comment on the incident.
The strike began March 27 when negotiations between the union and Prysmian Group over a new contract ended, without the two groups reaching a compromise.
Union representatives previously told the News Messenger that they were striking for fair wages and benefits, as well as appropriate compensation for the work employees did during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The union representatives also expressed issue with the amount of overtime work expected of employees, the scheduling of employees on multiple holidays a year, and the desire by company representatives to lower the number of “refusals” or days the employee is allowed to refuse to work a scheduled shift.
Union Representative Earl Roberts explained that the current contract allows for five refusals in a year, with only two per month.
“With the amount of overtime that they are scheduling for us, those days never last the whole year,” Roberts said.