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Such was the theme this Saturday at a meeting of over 150 Husky workers currently fighting for their rights in Lima, OH. One union member introduced Sherrod Brown, saying, “Many politicians have stayed neutral on this issue—but neutral doesn’t help our cause.”
Husky energy is a large, Canadian based company with a refinery in Lima—it’s a profitable company, which is seemingly refusing to provide a simple resolution for its workers who feel their safety will be compromised if their concerns are not met.
Currently, USW workers at Husky work on rotating 12-hour shifts and often on scheduled days off, holidays, evenings and weekends. This is not about economics or money. This is about the safety of the workers at the plant and the company’s ability to maintain a flexible work schedule and reduce the absenteeism rate.
May 25th marks the last day Husky made a comprehensive contract proposal, which they then withdrew. Now, the company wants to eliminate arrangements the union previously negotiated to allow flexibility in work hours. This left USW members with no option but to strike in protest over the company’s unfair labor practices and out of concern for the worker’s safety.
Sherrod spoke to a group of the strikers on Saturday, pledging to stand with them, and encouraging bipartisanship in resolving the strike. “They don’t need to go after worker rights or women’s rights. We all need to work across party lines to do things right,” he said. “This is about a communities safety, and workers safety.”
After the meeting, Sherrod spoke to almost every union worker in attendance—pledging his support and listening to their pleas for a resolution.