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Strike!

Apr 11, 2012 | 18 Comments


By Molly Walker
Of the News-Register


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Comments

07:30 am - Thu, April 12 2012
op91 said:
I would like to thank all those that have come by the picket line in support of the steel workers. A special shout out to Little Ceacers pizza and Izzy's pizza also to All American Cafe in Laffeyette also to Dutch Brothers and StarBucks you folks rock.

We have also recieved support from many passers bye and to them and the kind hearts they process we are truly grateful.

Many folks in the community wonder about why we are on strike, the issues are many and this is really not the place to hash them out. I have tried to answer some of the posters on this board but it seems that the mis-information train has not only left the station, it is packed full of riders. We are workers in the community just like you and we want to be treated fairly. None of you that have not sat in the negotiating sessions can really speak with any authority. some of the rest of us have spoken to our negotiators and have some information.

The bottom line is this, we will stand up for what we have and try like HECK to maintain our standard of living. I hope you will all support us in our cause, but if you choose not to then God bless you anyway. (end rant)
10:17 am - Thu, April 12 2012
Hammer said:
Well said op91

I would also like to thank the local businesses and community members for their support. It will not be forgotten and definately doesn't go unnoticed, word spread quickly on the line about the 20 plus pizzas, box of at least 50 cheeseburgers, box of burrritos, cases of water, and many many doughnuts. Those I have all seen personaly but have heard of many more. Thank you to the gentleman who is retired from the teachers union for the things you have brought, and also to the lady in the blue SUV for the hot coffee on several cold mornings. We are also getting support from our union brothers and sisters in Albany, thank you for making the trip to show your support.

Lastly I would like to thank all my union brothers and sisters (exept 2 and we ALL know who they are) for staying united. The only way we are going to get what we deserve is to stay united and we are doing a heck of a job at that.
11:00 am - Fri, April 13 2012
Obie said:
Would imagine Schnitzer is seeing the financial benefit of having a plant that is losing money shut down for a while...probably won't take long till they just pack up and go home...thanks Union!!!
05:32 pm - Fri, April 13 2012
op91 said:
Obie-

Hey Obie have you got some inside info you want to share? Or are you just another fear monger for management out to blame the union for everything that is going on. Unless its the first then please get your facts straight and don't blame the workers for standing up for themselves. We work very hard and we deserve to be treated right. thanks and God bless
06:39 am - Sat, April 14 2012
RAS70 said:
As someone who is working to keep the customers you need when/if you guys and gals come back to work, i have to say that the women and men that dropped their pencils, came out of the office, and took care of business, are not having trouble or hardships doing your work. They are bored, and say it is the easiest job they have ever done. And they dont mind getting paid $5.00 to $10.00 less per hour doing it. I am not taking anything away from your skills and knowledge of your job. They are still learning, and not as able yet as you. But they are willing to try just as the next people the company hires to replace you. I know a lot of qualified people out of work and ready. I know the melt shop is not running. (YET) There is a crew ready to come in. And the melt shop is a dirty environment. Please. I have been through worse, and so have others. For less than the lies Joe Munger is telling you.
Are you aware that Nucor in seattle has started a second shift to provide the customers we serve the products that we wont be selling soon? One week without a paycheck sucks. How long can you go? Your president is taking home a paycheck still. You voted to let him.
This is just another person that you are affecting, and my oppinion. You have it easy, and the lack of brothers on the line should show the support of the real work force.
Thank you to the News Register for allowing me to voice my opinion.
06:47 pm - Sat, April 14 2012
just me said:
umm, how do you figure that the president is still taking home a paycheck? i have gone through all the minutes for the last few years worth of meetings and there is no motion for him to continue to receive pay while we are on strike. i would really like to know where you got your information on this. and with the mill only running about 300 tons of no grade product in a shift i can see why they are bored, when we are in there we can run over 1200 tons, depending on the product, and get product the customer will accept. i just hope none of the ladies in the office gets hurt out in an unfamiliar area.
06:45 am - Sun, April 15 2012
angela.flood said:
I don't understand how a claim for unfair practices can be filed if the contract is expired. Considering that it being expired, what, exactly, is Cascade violating. There is no contract.
But, as a commuter who travels both Lafayette and 99 each day - I am asking the picketers to stop standing in the lanes of traffic. Stop waving your signs so that people have to veer left to keep from hitting you. I'm curious why the Mac PD hasn't stopped this practice.
And why do you think its okay to stick your signs in the ground when you go home or to make up for folks who didn't show up for strike duty. You have a ton of cars parked on grassy areas, got a bbq going and scream at people when they drive by. This behavior has not been allowed by citizens at Occupy events, but seems perfectly okay when its a union protest.
I'm all for standing up for what you believe in - but your timing is lax. Why didn't anyone speak up before the contract expired? And since not a single person that speaks in support of the strikers has stated one positive thing about working for Cascade, what is the benefit to the company to bring all these folks back? Who wants employees that hate their job so much? And why would you want to go back? According to the comments, its dangerous, it doesn't pay enough, the medical insurance is too high, you aren't listened to, the management is getting overpaid off your hard labor...Why do you want to return? There are a lot of people in this area that would do the work without a contract (and the additional expenses that go with that) so find some work you enjoy that will pay you what you want and let them take the jobs before the work ends up shifting to another location and the area loses the benefits of those salaries.
07:44 am - Sun, April 15 2012
op91 said:
First i would like to thank all the many supporters we have in the community some of them are Dutch Brothers who donated their new Rebel Energy Drink
Coastal Mountain Springs donated water Dominoes Pizza donated pizza
Albertsons donated coffee creamer and cups
and the McMinnville teachers association who donated pizza water and cookies.
on behalf of the people on the line thank you very much.
Now to rebut Ras70-
you say we complain about our jobs, true that and I know for a FACT that the workers from the office out trying to do our jobs complain about their own, so that is a wash.
Do we in fact hate the company we work for, NO we do not. We hate that they don't want to bargain in good faith and that they refuse to let us set in and listen to negotiations. Do we want a resolution to the current work stoppage, of course we do. We also want a contract that we can work under that does not take away everything we have worked hard for over many years. Also if you are bored then pick up the stickers and put them in racks and make some bands we can always use more bands. Thanks for your post it just confirms what the drivers have been telling us. draw your own conclusions here because I know you already know the truth.


Now to Angela.Flood-

I understand that you don't know the process for labor contract negotiations and that is fine, we are working within the system to resolve the current labor dispute. Please be patient and if you are experiencing any problems with picketers call the union office and let them know. We do not go out into the street and their are 2 lanes for traffic if having a sign near the edge of the road bothers you. As to the screaming, listen to what they are saying, many times it is thanks or thank you. If that offends you then I am truly sorry. thanks and God Bless
07:44 am - Sun, April 15 2012
op91 said:
As to what you have read on the News Reg. you have to understand that we are frustrated with the company that has been over the past several years telling us how we are a family and that they care about us, then when we try to negotiate a contract with them they treat us like red headed step children.(RANT TIME) One day after we went on strike the company hired between 20-30 outside security and put up a fence with barbed wire in front of the plant.They are also the ones who have been cited for an attack on a picketer. I was offended by the fence and I have to wonder, do they really think we are going to storm the building or something PLEASE we work there for goodness sake. (END RANT) to the Company who I know is reading this please come to the table and negotiate an fair contract so we can get back to doing what we do best (make steel) God Bless
07:52 am - Sun, April 15 2012
angela.flood said:
Lafayette Ave is one lane, and yes, they are standing in the lanes of traffic - outside of the bicycle lane. So, having to endure that puts the claims made of the security professional 'purposely' hitting the striker into some context. The road at Lafayette Ave (near the rental store) is actually blocked with people sitting in chairs in the street.
As far as me calling the union office, please feel free to post that number for all to have. I am expecting the strikers to police themselves.
09:24 am - Sun, April 15 2012
Kona said:


What is a "fair" contract? Would a "fair contract" be that employees meet halfway (e.g. 15 percent employee payment for health insurance) on the demands? Is a "fair contract" a contract that just meets union demands?

What exactly is a "fair contract"?
09:47 am - Sun, April 15 2012
angela.flood said:
I'm also curious as to what the union rep has been doing all this time. Did it just occur to everyone that the contract was expiring? Or did negotiations start two months ago with the rep working diligently to keep the members informed? Or is it like everything else where the members paid their dues and just assumed that people were doing the job they were tasked with? Have the members been provided any accountability? And you talk about having to pay 20% toward the cost of your benefits. What's the percentage of your pay that goes towards dues? What if the company came back and said 'we'll keep it at 10% but get rid of the union"? Some have talked about how the union protects their rights so people don't get fired for something they said. Pretty sure the 1st Amendment takes care of that right. What exactly are you looking to say about a company that provides you a living wage that would get you fired? And, due to the union, could your boss come back with any statements or would a grievance be filed against them, thus violating their 1st Amendment rights?
12:06 pm - Sun, April 15 2012
angela.flood said:
Union office phone number 503-472-0108 from http://www.8378.org/
02:19 pm - Sun, April 15 2012
just me said:
angela, i spoke to the police officer that has been working in that area the last week and he said he has heard of no complaints about our picketers being in the road way what so ever. so if your so concerned, stop and talk to them about it, its not like anyone is looking for a fight. with out the union, we would be at will employies and that means you can be fired without cause, just because someone doesnt like you, it doesnt even have to be work related at that point. it could be over a differance of opinion. our union dues are only 1.45% of gross pay. the insurance would be going from $72 every two weeks to $144 every two weeks. if they feel the insurance is so expensive, why will they not even try to shop around and get something better and cheaper? it is available on the open market.
our negotiating comittie started meeting with the company in february. our group was ready to meet every day until it was done. the company only wanted to meet thursday afternoons and friday mornings. and then they would show up late and leave early.
and as far as our pay and everyone saying we are over paid, if you think we are over paid than maybe you in your little offices in front of the company should be willing to take the same pay freeze and doubling of insurance payments if the same company we all work for is losing money. just a thought, and no im not just attacking management here. if we, the ones who make the product to sell and make a profit should take a hit, why shouldnt everyone else? just a thought.
as far as everyone ranting about pay and bonuses, if you owned a company and your operating officers were not running it to make a profit, would you pay them a bonus? base pay is one thing, but if i were running your company and not turning a profit i wouldnt expect a bonus. if you were running mine,doing the same, i wouldnt give out a bonus. just saying.
04:30 pm - Sun, April 15 2012
op91 said:
Dear ms. Flood, I find it offensive that you would say those things about the picketers on Lafayette because I for one have been there every day and we do NOT go into the street also we comport ourselves with a great deal of respect for all traffic, even the trucks that we slow down leaving the plant and anyone that gives us the middle finger while driving by. we still say thank you to them.
Unfortunately you sound like someone with a grudge against us, why I do not know. If we ever offended you then I am truly sorry. We are working class folk just trying to to get a fair shake from the company we work for. I know this makes some people mad or confused but its what the bargaining has come down to, we as a union only have one real card to play in order to get the company to bargain fairly and that's the strike card. We are not proud of the fact that we had to do this and had the company negotiated in good faith then this conversation would not be happening.
Please be patient with us as we try to achieve a new contract, our negotiating team is working very hard to meet the company half way.
Thank you for your posts and opinions, I may not agree with them but I do respect them. God Bless
04:44 pm - Sun, April 15 2012
op91 said:
Dear Kona-
You seem to be stuck on what we see as fair, since the issues are numerous and deal mostly in contract language I am not qualified to determine what fair is for both sides. That is why we negotiate a contract. Also you seem to be more interested in the numbers side so lets try and attack that. 1) the company to my knowledge has not gotten to the point of seriously negotiating. Right now its not give and take, its all take away on their part. yes a .75 to 1% cola was talked about but in the context of the whole contract the cost of insurance deferred to us would be well over that so that would be a loss on our part. You want to know whats fair and I have told you in several of my responses to you on basically the same subject. We want THE COMPANY TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH.. not play games and meet us half way. I love the job I do and if you ask anyone of the people I work around they will tell you that I take pride in what I do. I like working at Cascade Steel or I wouldn't be there. I look forward to getting back to work as soon as possible, but not until we can work out a fair deal for both sides. (It's called negotiating)

God Bless
07:37 pm - Sun, April 15 2012
Kona said:

It is telling that you say "to my knowledge (Cascade) has not gotten to the point of seriously negotiating". Have you thought that they might not want to negotiate? Why would they have to negotiate if they are not interested in the union proposal? They hold the cards. It is their investment. If their investment does not make the returns that they need, or would like, there is no reason for them to make a deal that is not in their best interest. It really has nothing to do with cost of living, or health benefits or anything else you discuss. It has everything to do with the level of return on their investment and whether it is worthwhile. From what you indicate, they are not in their best interest to pay what your union demands. I am sure that they have explored selling the operation, or closing it down. It will be interesting to see what happens. I wish you the best, but the best is not always beneficial in the long run.
08:22 pm - Sun, April 15 2012
op91 said:
Kona -
I only said to my knowledge because the situation is fluid as the union and company are trying to work out their differences. It is a process and a time honored one at that. suffice it to say that what you know of the entire business model that is Cascade Steel is very little. This is not a hit on you just a fact. We know who our customers are and what it means to be able to sell a product with the union label. As a worker in the company I hear and read some of the industry reports and have some knowledge as to where our industry is going and if its stagnant or growing. The comments from posters outside of our industry sound as if gloom and doom reign in the business world. It is a sad state to live terrified of the economy. I prefer to be an optimist, I think and believe that we as Americans can achieve great things, but we must obey the process. Have a little faith that both sides will work out the issues before them and then we can put this stressful business behind us.

Peace

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