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Davis Wire strikers in Kent OK contract, return to work

KENT (Aug. 17) — The Stand has learned that Davis Wire workers, on strike since May 21, voted Thursday night to approve a contract proposal and to return to work. More details from their union, Teamsters Local 117, will be posted here as they become available.

UPDATE (Aug. 21) — The following message from Teamsters 117 Secretary-Treasurer Tracey Thompson has been posted at the union’s website:

Brothers and Sisters:

After three full months on strike, our Davis Wire members made the extremely difficult decision last Thursday to ratify a contract and return to work.  While the ratified Last, Best and Final offer included annual wage increases that we believe will offset increases in health care costs during the term of the agreement, the Company also included a poison pill — eight replacement workers will continue to work and will displace some of our members for up to six months.  There being no rational business reason for this poison pill, it seems clear that it was intended only to break the indomitable spirit of these workers.

Our Davis Wire members ratified a contract and are returning to work, but the fight to improve their working conditions and economic security, and to hold this Company accountable, does not end with ratification of a contract.  The fight takes a new direction and moves inside.

I have said many times that the men at Davis Wire are my heroes. Their vote on Thursday was another heroic act. They looked into their own hearts and those of the brothers with whom they’ve been standing, they considered the struggles that many of them are facing, they realized that they could continue to fight their employer from the inside, and they made the difficult decision to end their strike. I trust you will see this courageous act for what it is, and continue to honor and support these amazing workers.

— Tracey

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