Members of the local chapter of the United Auto Workers union have been on strike at the Prysmian Group plant in Scottsville for about a month, with negotiations with the company kicking off last week.
According to union representative Chris Hodge, the union reached out to Prysmian Group about negotiating once again the weekend of April 16, making plans to discuss the issue more at length Tuesday, April 20.
Hodge said that after a brief Zoom meeting with company representatives, they were asked to meet virtually once again Monday, April 26.
“We spoke with them briefly again, and they said they would be right back to us,” Hodge said. “About ten minutes later they said they wouldn’t have anything for us that day, and would get back to us today (Tuesday).”
As of Tuesday morning, Hodge said that union representatives were still waiting to hear back from the company.
“We are the ones who reached out, we want to start this conversation,” Hodge said. “We are also very willing to talk about it, because we don’t have anything to hide.”
Though conversations with the company have begun, Hodge said that the union is not going to let up with the 24/7 strike.
For the second time since the strike began, UAW members from the Dallas area travelled to the Prysmian Group plant in Scottsville Tuesday morning to support the strikers.
A large group of union members travelled by bus, and using their personal vehicles, to Scottsville to strike alongside local UAW members. A bus carrying those union members ultimately got stuck in a ditch Tuesday morning.
Original negotiations began with the company a year ago, before the outbreak of COVID-19. Negotiations were still underway in March 2020, so Hodge said that union representatives offered to renew the previous contract for an additional year, postponing negotiations in light of the ongoing crisis.
Negotiations picked back up in March 2021, which is when the company allegedly initially offered to raise wages by a nickel, with the cost of employee benefits rising from the previous contract.
Conversations over the new contracts were completed on Saturday, March 27 at the stroke of midnight, without the company and union representatives coming to an agreement, which is when the strike began.
This story is ongoing and will continue to be updated at www.marshallnewsmessenger.com.