July 24, 2008
Union workers at Moncure Plywood in Chatham County are on strike. The wood workers are members of IAMAW Local Lodge W369. Lewis Cameron, the local president, has worked at the plant for 35 years.
Check our photostream for pictures from the strike line.
“They treat us like dogs,” Cameron said of Wood Resources, the company that bought the plant, which produces hardwood plywood used in upholstered furniture, from Weyerhaeuser in December 2004. Management’s relationship with the union and working conditions in the plant have since deteriorated.
“They have stripped us of our dignity,” Cameron added in a statement to the Sanford Herald.
Picketing outside the plant began on Sunday at 9 p.m., and 90 percent of the 206 workers in the bargaining unit have refused to cross picket lines.
The strike came after the union rejected the company’s last take-it-or-leave-it offer. Workers are protesting hikes in their insurance premiums, the company’s hiring of temporary workers, the elimination of seniority rights, and – unbelievably – a mandatory 60-hour work week.
“With a 60-hour mandatory clause, they could work people seven consecutive days for weeks without a day off,” said Melvin Montford, IAMAW business representative, to a reporter with the News & Observer. “Even the slaves got off on Sunday.”
Solidarity Support Needed
Now is the time for us to show our solidarity with the union members at Moncure Plywood. Local Lodge W369 is asking for our help, including water, food, and supporters to walk the picket line.
The plant is located at 306 Corinth Rd, Moncure, NC in Chatham County – about a 30 minute drive southwest from Raleigh.