Workers speak out against unsafe working conditions that cause ‘disabling and disfiguring accidents’
BAY POINT, CALIF. – Protesting the heartless cancellation of health insurance for workers on strike, four injured workers of Henkel Aerospace Industrial Bay Point will share their stories of workplace injuries and deliver a letter from Valter Sanches, General President of the IndustriALL Global Union to the company’s 2850 Willow Pass facility on Tuesday.
More than 80 production workers at Henkel Aerospace Industrial Bay Point – a German-owned subsidiary –have been on strike since October 16, 2017. The workers manufacture industrial glue and adhesives for airplanes and other industrial uses, and organized with Machinists Local 1584 in 2013 after numerous safety violations on the job, including a workplace fatality of a temporary worker, a veteran who had recently returned from Iraq to settle in Antioch.
“It is not surprising – and completely in line with Henkel’s callous disregard for worker safety – that they would cancel our health insurance in an attempt to scare us back to into unsafe jobs,” said Will Morris, Henkel production worker and Shop Steward for Machinists Local 1584. “Scarier than us losing health insurance is what’s been happening to workers inside the plant: disabling and disfiguring accidents,”
“Henkel’s continues to refuse to address health and safety problems through better training & advancement and a reasonable grievance procedure at the bargaining table,” said Steve Older, Machinists Area Director. “The company’s ongoing animus toward the union workers – on the factory floor and at the bargaining table – will lead to more workplace injuries. We’ll be on strike until this corporation puts safety and fairness first.”
“As Contra Costa moves toward developing the Northern Waterfront into an advanced manufacturing sector, we need to ensure that the jobs created are quality jobs; safe jobs for workers and the community, with living wages, job security and advancement opportunities, so the region is truly sustainable,” said Margaret Hanlon-Gradie, executive director of the Contra Costa AFL-CIO Labor Council.
WHO: 80 workers on strike protesting unsafe working conditions, community leaders and allies
WHAT: Injured workers on strike will deliver letter to Henkel’s management. Picket line.
WHEN: 12 P.M., TODAY, OCTOBER 31, 2017
WHERE: In front of Henkel Aerospace Bay Point, 2850 Willow Pass Road, Bay Point, CA
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 1584 represents more than 5,000 workers in manufacturing, automotive, shipyards, and public transportation, and other industries in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Central Labor Council of Contra Costa County, AFL-CIO represents working people in Contra Costa County.
Multiple attempts to reach someone at Henkel in Bay Point for comment for this article were unsuccessful. The voicemail for their reception desk is full and the message for the Human Resources Department states “your call cannot be completed at this time. Please try again later. Good-bye.”