Westinghouse locks out union members at NH manufacturing plant
NEWINGTON- Workers at Westinghouse in Newington have been locked out after negotiations between a union and managment failed to result in new contract.
About 170 employees, members of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 651, are not being allowed to work Monday morning at the nuclear component manufacturing facility as a month-long process broke down.
A temporary contract had been in place while discussions took place regarding a new contract. No agreement had been reached and pre-set arrangements were put into place, resulting in a union-member lockout.
Plant manager Ramon Serrano sent a letter to chief union steward Duane Egan in a letter dated May 18 indicating it was a 48-hour notice to "terminate the 30 Day Contract Extension Moritorium of Understanding" the two parties were working under since April 29.
The moritorium terminated at midnight on May 21.
According to a company clarification memo Serrano sent to Egan dated Saturday, May 20, the union was scheduled to vote on the company's "last, best and final offer" Sunday morning.
Without a contract ratification by 11:59 p.m. Sunday night, "there will be no contract," according to the memo sent to Michael DiClemente, the business agent for Local 651, and, "as stated during mediation, the Company will not allow the employees represented by the Union to perform any work without a collective bargaining agreement being in effect. Put simply, the Company will institute a 'lock out' and prohibit union-represented employees from entering the facility."
In a company statement on its website, Michele DeWitt, interim senior vice president, Nuclear Fuel and Components Manufacaturing said, “Westinghouse put forth its best and final offer given the current very serious business conditions. As the Boilermakers were not willing to accept the offer, the company made the difficult decision to invoke a lockout. We are disappointed the union was unwilling to accept the fair offer presented to them but remain hopeful we will reach an agreement that is in the best interest of all parties.”
A union statement issued Sunday night stated "Westinghouse has not bargained in good faith, and we will be exploring all available recourses against the company, including filing unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board."