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    Posted May 25, 2014 by
    PinkWidow
    Location
    Aiken, South Carolina

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    South Carolina Plant Locks out 567 workers

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     This iReport has not been verified by CNN, but we're looking into it. If you have additional info, share it in the comments below or upload your story.
    - katie, CNN iReport producer

    On May 1, 2014, 567 workers at Advanced Glassfiber-Yarns were locked out of work.

     

    Now, let me backtrack a little and explain exactly what happened: A few months prior to this lockout, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley toured the facilities, it's well known that Gov. Haley does not want the union in the state of SC, in fact, she has actually stated publicly that "We discourage any companies that have unions from wanting to come to South Carolina because we don't want to taint the water." (Source) The contract of this unionized plant was up for re-negotiations, all of this taking place within a matter of a month and a few weeks of each other. General protocol states that the Union Rep meets with the company presenting a new contract and requirements of the employees from the company. But this year was something entirely different. The company presented the union reps with a proposal so preposterous that no one in their right minds could accept. Just a few of these unacceptable proposals include: loss of seniority, loss of vacation time,  a point system that is unlike any I've ever seen considering the amount of hours that the employees have to work, no holiday pay and the list goes on and on.

     

    As time dwindled down to the end of the contract being up and negotiations were leading nowhere fast, the company took it upon itself to bring in temporary workers while the current employees were still there working. If you get a chance look up union busters, it will give you more insight as to what the tactics they chose were really for. The day before the union contract was up the company deactivated badges, and had Aiken County Sheriffs Department blocking all employees from entering the plant property. Since then none of these employees have been able to draw unemployment because initially, the plant said they were on strike, but since it was easily proven that this was not the case, they moved on to say that all hourly employees are on leave of absence, still blocking the employees from drawing unemployment. These are people that have invested years into this plant, some as many as 40 years, and this cold and callous plant has thrown them to the side for political favor. Help us receive justice.

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