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COTE BLANCHE, La. (March 6) — National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) officials have approved a settlement between the United Steelworkers (USW) and Compass Minerals Louisiana, Inc., formerly known as Carey Salt Co., bringing to an end a dispute that dates to 2010.
Members of USW Local 14425, which represents about 100 workers at the company’s salt mine in Cote Blanche, La., went on strike in the spring of 2010 to protest the company’s unfair labor practices (ULP), including its unilateral implementation of new procedures, particularly those governing the payment of overtime, and the company’s refusal to bargain in good faith with the USW over a new contract. The strike ended on June 15, 2010.
Since then, an NLRB administrative law judge, the NLRB and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the union and the striking workers. The $7.33 million settlement, which NLRB Region 1 Director John J. Walsh approved on March 3, resolves all open issues.
“This situation was a result of the actions of Carey Salt’s former management,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “We’re proud of the way we’ve been able to work with the company’s current management team, as well as the NLRB, to reach a fair and equitable settlement.”
About 90 USW members who were on strike during the 2010 dispute will receive the bulk of the settlement funds. Other employees will also receive back pay as a result of the agreement.
“We extend our sincere thanks to the leadership and staff of NLRB Regions 15 and 1 for their tireless efforts to enforce the National Labor Relations Act and protect these important rights for all working people,” said Ruben Garza, director of USW District 13, which includes Louisiana.
The USW agreed to new contracts with the company in 2013 and 2016, but those agreements did not resolve the outstanding NLRB issues.
The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. For more information: http://www.usw.org/.