Locked-out Westinghouse workers speak out during NH rally
NEWINGTON — After more than two weeks of being locked out of Westinghouse Electric Co., members of the Local Boilermakers Union spoke out at a Friday rally to reveal how the company's choice is hurting their families.
Pierre Vermette of Sanford, Maine, talked about how his unemployment check barely covers his family obligations and his children lost their health insurance when he was locked out.
"You just feel stranded. Thrown out to the curb. And we all work very hard for the company," Vermette said.
Boilermaker Chief Steward Duane Egan also stated that his union members lost their health insurance the moment Westinghouse locked out the workers.
Egan said he was upset about the loss of insurance because "we have many members with small children that have disabilities and different issues. We have a lot of members that are near retirement age that have medical concerns. We have some disabled vets that work with us. It's catastrophic to go without our insurance."
Westinghouse officials said the union members had turned down their final and best offer which is what led to the initial lockout.
Both sides of the dispute reconvened Wednesday and the workers will decide whether to accept the company's new contract Sunday.