USA: Illinois Cement workers rally as strike looms

USA: Illinois Cement workers rally as strike looms
Published: 03 May 2012

Conditions are ripe for a walkout at Illinois Cement Company in La Salle. Contract negotiations between Illinois Cement and the local United Steel Workers (USW) began in December. Since early March the union’s 114 members have been working without a contract, said local USW vice president T “Boo” Herndon.

Members of USW Local 657 have begun meeting daily during lunchtime in the employee parking lot to discuss their status and prepare for a possible strike.

“They want to raise our insurance (costs) and not compensate us with any raises,” local president Randy Jackson said of the sticking point between the union and Illinois Cement’s negotiating teams.

During their daily rally outside the plant on Tuesday, some of Illinois Cement’s union employees held USW banners and others had decorated their hardhats with stickers bearing pro-solidarity and pro-strike slogans.