Today, Teamsters at Louisville Packaging unanimously rejected a “Last, Best and Final Offer” haphazardly thrown out by the Company via email late Saturday evening. In addition, the membership voted unanimously to authorize an Unfair Labor Practice strike in response to bad faith bargaining by the Company. These votes came after a previous unanimous strike authorization that occurred in July.
The Louisville Packaging contract expires Monday night when the clock hits midnight. If the Company does not come to an agreement worthy of the membership’s approval by then, it will be subject to strike action.
Late in the evening of Saturday, August 13th, the Company informed Business Agent Jay Dennis and Chief Steward Kevin Kerns that it now considered a counter proposal it had put across the table the previous day as its “Final Offer”. Local 89 is legally obligated to vote any such “Final Offer”, but strongly recommended that members vote to reject it.
“Through all the negotiations I’ve been in during my years as an Agent, this is the first time I’ve seen a ‘Final Offer’ thrown out in such a lazy manner. Usually, Company is at least professional enough to fashion it into a coherent document that members can review,” said Business Agent Jay Dennis. “Their lack of preparation would be comical if this wasn’t such an important matter. This is about our members livelihoods, and the Company’s lack of respect for them is appalling.”
During negotiations, Louisville Packaging was led by a union busting attorney who engaged in bad faith tactics that were, at times, downright ludicrous. All of this was a flagrantly obvious attempt to frustrate the rank-and-file committee and to force the membership to give up hope and agree to a substandard contract. Some of these tactics were clear violations of the National Labor Relations Act and have resulted in labor charges being filed by Teamsters Local 89.
Thanks to the Company’s uncaring attitude and the games they have played, and short of a massive change in their approach to negotiations in the next twenty-four hours, they have now found themselves facing an impending strike threat.
If Louisville Packaging management continues to pursue their foolish course, our members are not afraid to fight back, and they will do whatever they must to win a contract that rewards them for their dedication not only to the Company they work for, but to their sole customer, Chemours Chemicals.
Teamsters Local 89 will stand with our members, whether at the negotiating table or on a picket line. We will bring the might of our entire union to bear and fight in solidarity with our members at Louisville packaging. When you take on one of us, you take on ALL of us.