Two ways you can support Belshaw strikers in Auburn

Belshaw-strike-frontAUBURN, Wash. (June 13, 2013) — Since March 24, members of the International Association of Machinists Local Lodge 79 have been out on strike at Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group in Auburn. The company has announced the hiring of permanent scab replacement workers, an escalation of offense by the company has only strengthened the resolve of the membership on the picket line. But they need your support and solidarity. Here are two ways you can help:

Attend strike support/barbecue event Tuesday, June 18 — IAM District Lodge 160 invites all supporters of the striking Belshaw workers to join them on the picket lines for a barbecue. The event will be Tuesday, June 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 814 44th St. NW in Auburn.

Sign electronic letter to Belshaw management — Help striking Belshaw workers win their fight for justice by sending a message to Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group. Tell them to stop their unfair treatment of Local 79 members and negotiate a fair agreement. Click here to take action.

BACKGROUND — Contract issues at Belshaw initially revolved around wages, health and welfare, and pension. The union had put a proposal on the table that would have saved the company more than $20,000 per month in health and welfare costs, asking only that some of those savings be passed along to the membership in the form of a wage increase. The company balked at the proposal.

But now, an over-arching issue has now emerged — the company has announced that they have hired permanent replacement workers, a move that resulted in the unanimous rejection of the company’s latest contract proposal on May 10. This escalation of offense by the company has only strengthened the resolve of the membership on the picket line.

Formerly part of the Aga Rangemaster Group, Belshaw Bros. was acquired by Italian conglomerate Ali SpA in 2007. That global connection is what moved the Trade and Globalization Department of the IAM to request support from Geneva, Switzerland-based IndustriALL Global Union, which represents 50 million workers in 140 countries in the mining, energy and manufacturing sectors. The IAM is an affiliate of the organization. The eyes of workers around the world have now focused on the intransigence of a seemingly small company in Auburn.

You can also follow developments in the strike here.

ALSO at AFL-CIO Now — Belshaw factory workers stand strong after rejecting unfair contract (June 4) — “Belshaw President Mr. Faw, through his labor negotiator, notified the union and its bargaining committee that it has replaced about 60% of the strikers and will continue to replace the remaining unless they accept the Last Best and Final document that was offered during mediation. That document was voted down unanimously along with the message, ‘We will not go back with less than we went out with.’ “

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