Members of UE Local 123, who make commercial HVAC systems for Daikin, were recently told that their employer plans to move some of their work to Mexico. The boss is also is requesting that workers take a voluntary six-week furlough due to the company being in a financial hardship.
Yet at the same time the company plans for employees to stay home from work on unemployment, it is scheduling union members and other hourly employees to work beyond the maximum twenty-six weekends a calendar year allowed by the collective bargaining agreement between Daikin and the local union.
Local 123 members made their displeasure known on Thursday, rallying outside the plant with signs reading “Family Before Everything,” “No More Scheduled Overtime Weekends,” and, simply, “ENUFF.” The local has also filed a grievance.
“If the company needs to furlough employees, why are they forcing us to work weekend overtime?” asks Local 123 President Wesley Henshaw “We will keep fighting until Daikin honors the contract it has with our union and starts treating its employees like human beings.”
Avery Bell, Local 123 vice president, told the Staunton News-Leader, “I don't think the company gets the idea that we have a standing contract and we should abide by it.”
“We're trying to get this settled and get resolution before people have to work anymore scheduled weekends and give up time with their families,” added Henshaw.