Thirty truck drivers and warehousemen represented by the Teamsters Union at Independent Pipe and Supply Corp. in Canton, Ohio stopped working for 60 days. The strike, as usual, necessitated regular police detail. The Canton police responded to more than a dozen disputes and disturbances at the picket line and charged five individuals with crimes ranging from disorderly conduct to assault and battery.
The workers receive $25.56 per hour plus $5.69 per hour in pension contributions. Prior to the strike, the Company proposed a $0.70 per hour wage increase and increases in the pension contribution. Notably, the Company also proposed to maintain the workers’ current health insurance plan (the same one the rest of the company is on), continue to pay 85% of the premium for that plan, and provide dental and vision benefits. This wasn’t enough.
The Union insisted that the Company provide health insurance through the Union’s health and welfare fund and pay family plan premiums for all employees even for employees who do not select a family plan. The Teamsters officials maintained that the Company’s healthcare proposal was not acceptable, and went on strike in an effort to force the Company to agree to the Union’s exorbitant and pricy healthcare proposal.
This reiterates that Unions will strike over anything, oftentimes silly things, and sometimes just to harm a Company instead of gain anything for their membership. Here, the workers made a good wage and had good healthcare, but unfortunately that wasn’t enough for the Teamsters.
Matt Austin owns Austin Legal, LLC, a boutique law firm based in Ohio that limits its representation to employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can reach Matt by calling him at (614) 843-3041 or emailing him at Matt@MattAustinLaborLaw.com.