End the Lockout and Bring Back the Experienced USW Workforce
At midnight on August 1, Honeywell locked out nearly 150 members of United Steelworkers Local 7-669 out of their jobs at the Metropolis, Illinois uranium conversion facility. Honeywell managers are demanding that workers agree to contract language that would allow Honeywell to operate much of the facility with outside contract workers and eliminate the jobs of as many as 100 union members before allowing any union members back to work. The company is also demanding that any remaining members accept serious cuts to healthcare benefits.
Honeywell is now attempting to operate the facility with supervisory personnel who do not have experience operating the equipment. Workers in Metropolis convert uranium to be used as nuclear fuel. On a day-to-day basis they work with radioactive materials and huge volumes of hazardous chemicals. A single accident could lead to a release that could put thousands of families in the area at risk.
The last time that management attempted to operate the facility with replacement workers the facility saw two serious accidents--an explosion and a chemical release-- and management was cited by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for helping replacement workers cheat on exams that ultimately allowed them to operate the facility.
Members of USW Local 7-669 are committed to ensuring the safety of our community and they're ready and willing to operate the facility. Honeywell should end the lockout and bring back the experienced USW workforce.
We also call on our state and Federal Regulators and our elected leaders to engage in serious investigations into safety at the Metropolis Works and to take all legal actions to keep our communities safe.