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Special Metals Union to meet, vote

Union members at Special Metals to vote on proposal
Published: Mar. 10, 2022 at 4:19 PM EST
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - United Steel Workers Local 40 union members are set to learn details about the contract proposal on the table, and take a vote.

Union workers are now in the sixth month of the strike at Special Metals.

Local 40 Chairman Greg Elkins tells WSAZ union members will meet Friday at the Double Tree in Huntington to be briefed about the last deal from parent company Precision Castparts Corp.

Members will then vote Sunday on the proposal. The vote was originally set for Saturday but was moved because of the snowstorm expected to hit the region Saturday.

In a letter to union members obtained by WSAZ, international President Thomas M. Conway wrote: “As in all strikes, the toll that it begins to take on our families after an extended period can be brutal and the union has to take an honest look and evaluate whether the cost of continuing the strike, when weighed against the terms of the proposed settlement offer, are worth the risk and continued hardship to our members and their families. I believe we are at that point.”

Conway also stated in the letter that he had been contacted by Precision Castparts Corp. and told about a plan to idle the plant in coming days. The letter goes on to say the idle may only last a few weeks, but Conway expressed fear that it could be the beginning of a “slippery slope,” and that union membership has asked for the first time since the strike began to make a collective decision about the proposed settlement.

“This isn’t a step the union takes lightly but is an important act of solidarity and unity to ensure that whatever path we decide to take going forward, that we are doing it together and in the open and in the light of all known risks,” Conway wrote.

Since Oct. 1, about 450 members of United Steel Workers Local 40 have been on strike. USW Local 40 President Chad Thompson told WSAZ in December that safety issues, length of time for temporary job assignments, vacation time, and health care are a few reasons for the strike.

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