Unions protest lawbreaking, poor healthcare at profitable Fortune 500 company
When: Thursday, November 14, 4pm-5:30pm
Where: 1501 Ardmore Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15221
For more information contact: Ben Wilson, UE Field Organizer (412) 935 7545 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of UE Locals 625 and 626, the unions representing workers at the ABB plants in Mount Pleasant and Greensburg, PA, will picket the company’s Pittsburgh corporate office this afternoon to protest ABB’s unfair labor practices and poor healthcare.
“ABB has engaged in regressive bargaining, which is an unfair labor practice and a clear violation of labor law,” said UE Local 625 President Gary Williams.
The unions are in ongoing negotiations with the company after the parties’ previous contract expired midnight October 31st. Since a one-day “warning strike” conducted by the workers on November 1st, the company has decreased its wage proposal and reneged on its previous offer to add money to workers’ medical savings plans.
ABB has also unlawfully demanded the right to change the health insurance plan design during the contract without bargaining with the union. As a result, the company could impose even worse insurance and higher costs than what the workers are now experiencing.
Improving the company’s substandard healthcare plan remains a key goal of the unions. UE Local 625 member Sharon Johnston calls the ABB healthcare plan “The Don’t Get Sick Plan,” because of the high out-of-pocket expenses. “I’d like to go to the dermatologist because my father had cancer,” says Johnston, but “that’s a six-hundred dollar bill there. I can’t afford that, that’s my paycheck.” Johnston and other ABB workers spoke out last week about the company’s healthcare plan.
ABB’s Power Grids Division, which includes the Westmoreland County plants, has recently been purchased by the Japanese company Hitachi, which will be majority owner by next year.
UE Local 625 and 626 members build high-quality circuit breakers and high-voltage equipment.
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