WASHINGTON, Oct. 16, 2020 – Eighty-nine Machinists Union (IAM) Local 1855 members at AstenJohnson in Appleton, Wis. began striking for a fair contract today at 7 a.m. CT.
The striking IAM members at AstenJohnson, who produce specialty fabric for the paper industry, are seeking reasonable healthcare expenses and cost sharing.
IAM Local 1855 members rejected company contract proposals on Oct. 14 and Sept. 30. Despite mediator assistance, the company refused to budge off its concessionary proposals.
“The reasonable offer put forward by our negotiating committee would have benefited our members, the Teamsters and non-union employees at the facility, and the company as a whole,” said IAM District 10 Business Representative Jeremy Terlisner. “I am proud of our Local 1855 membership and the negotiating committee for standing strong for what they deserve—a fair contract.”
“Because of the pandemic, affordable healthcare is now more critical than ever,” said IAM District 10 Directing Business Representative Alex Hoekstra. “These increases in cost put our members, their families and public health as a whole at risk. I stand shoulder to shoulder with the skilled workers at AstenJohnson in their fight and I call on management to come back to the table and negotiate a fair contract.”
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America and represents nearly 600,000 active and retired members in the manufacturing, aerospace, defense, airlines, transportation, shipbuilding, woodworking, health care, and other industries.