Solidarity Results in New Contract with Mississippi Polymers

Local 759L members at the Mississippi Polymers facility in Corinth, Miss., in July defeated their company’s proposed concessions to gain a three-year agreement that maintained their health benefits and raised wages.

“The membership stood strong and were able to keep their health insurance,” said Local 759L President Mark Casto.

Mississippi Polymers, a family-owned company, came to the bargaining table attempting to change the health care benefits and have workers pay 50 percent of their health insurance premiums.

The local continued to stand firm, however, because “health insurance was our members’ number one concern,” Casto said.

Local 759L members worked on a series of contract extensions throughout the protracted negotiations, during which they rejected the company’s offer three times.

Negotiations came to a head on June 4 when the company locked them out for a week. After District 9 Director Daniel Flippo talked with the owner, the workers returned to work June 14 and negotiations resumed.

The local resolved the health insurance issue, and the membership overwhelmingly ratified the contract on July 10.

“The members of 759L stood together throughout this process. They have built this plant and the business,” Director Flippo said, “through unity and strength; they stood for the dignity and respect they have earned and deserve.”

“The company saw that everyone was able to stick together,” Casto said.

He said everything else in the contract stayed intact and workers received 2 percent raises for each year of the agreement, which began June 4, 2021 and expires April 1, 2024.

Local 759L represents 105 production and maintenance employees who make film and vinyl sheeting for products like band-aids, awning, decals and wallboard. Casto said they also made medical gowns during the Covid-19 pandemic last year.

“We have plenty of business, and now that everything has settled down, new workers are starting to apply here. We got the deal down, and we’re going forward,” Casto said.

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