Workers locked out of Alliance plant

ALLIANCE, Ohio (WKBN) – About 250 workers are locked out of a plant in Alliance.

Members of United Steelworkers Local 3059 are locked out of PTC Alliance, formerly Alliance Tube, after a labor contract could not be reached.

Workers are demonstrating outside of the plant on Keystone Street.

According to a prepared release from the company, the labor agreement between PTC Alliance and USW Local 3059 expired at 12:01 a.m. on Monday. Prior to that, the company said negotiations culminated in a contract proposal that was put to the workers on Thursday and was rejected.

The union and company met again and made adjustments to the proposal, which was presented to the unit on Sunday. That proposal was voted down as well.

After expiration of the current contract, the operations of the plant were continued using managerial personnel.

Union representative Bill Collins said the disagreement came down to major differences in parity wages and benefits, as well as the incentive program for all employees. Collins said they even offered to work through the negotiation process.

“We showed up for work and they told us to stand in the parking lot and locked us out,” Collins said.

It is the first time a lockout has happened in the company’s history, which Collins said was a shock for everyone, especially since the workers gave so much when PTC was going through bankruptcy in 2009.

“We gave so much back to this company when it went into bankruptcy in 2009, our pensions, our retiree health care and retiree’s insurance, plus a 5 percent wage reduction for the first year and two-and-a-half  for the second so that this company could stay afloat,” Collins said.

No new talks between the company and the union have been scheduled, but the company released a statement via email.

“The company values all of its employees and hopes that both sides can quickly reach an agreement and all employees can return to work,” the release stated.

But the lockout is still impacting the workers, who are now without a paying job.

“Well now we are in difficult situations trying to make sure we can pay bills, got kids in college, car notes, house payments, brand new babies in the house, so everything is getting a little difficult,” worker Terrence Williams said.

He has worked for the company for 26 years.

According to the company’s website, the plant manufactures and markets welded and cold drawn mechanical steel tubing, seamless pipe, tubular shapes, precision fabricated tube and bar components to various industries including automotive, appliance and agricultural entities.

PTC Alliance announced July 7 its acquisition of the assets of Niagara LaSalle’s Chrome Bar operations in Griffith, IN. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed but the sale closing is anticipated to occur Thursday.

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