Nine-Week Lockout Ends At Armstrong Flooring In Pennsylvania - 180 USW-Represented Employees Set To Return To Work Next Week After Ratifying New Contract
(LANCASTER, PENNSYLVANIA) - Armstrong Flooring’s lockout of it Union-Represented Workers at its Dillerville Road Plant in the Pennsylvania City of Lancaster has ended after Workers ratified a new Labor Agreement, a United Steelworkers (USW) Local 285 official said Thursday (August 29th).
The Workers are set to return to work next week, according to the company, nine weeks after Armstrong locked them out on July 2nd.
“Our people just want to get back to work,” USW Local 285 President Larry Fisher said.
Local 285’s prior contract had expired in October 2017, but Union Members had stayed on the job as negotiations continued.
Talks led to tentative agreements three times, but Membership rejected each, the last time coming in June 2018.
Negotiations then bogged down, prompting Armstrong to impose the lockout, saying “no material progress has been made and the company and union positions are still far apart.”
The two sides went back to the table on August 7th, reaching another tentative agreement.
This time, in a vote held on August 17th, the USW Members ratified it by an undisclosed tally.
Fisher said the new agreement offers better Work Rules than the three offers USW Members rejected prior to the lockout: “It ‘wasn’t about’ wages. ‘It was about the work rules, the day-to-day running of the plant.’”
Fisher said Armstrong wanted to eliminate all the Work Rules in effect at the plant, which date to when the plant was part of Armstrong World Industries, and negotiate a fresh set. The Union balked at this, according to Fisher, saying it made no sense to discard policies that were effective.
According to Fisher, the new contract runs 2.5 years, through February 2022. It annually provides an extra $1,500 Lump Sum Payment to Tier 1 Workers, a 2% raise for Tier 2 Workers and a 2.5% raise for Tier 3 Workers. The Tiers are based on years of service.
While the Union Members were locked out, Armstrong kept the plant running by staffing it with Management, Temporary Workers and Production Workers brought here from its Non-Union plant in Stillwater, Oklahoma, Union Officials said.
An Armstrong spokesman confirmed the staffing arrangement.
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