Waterford, NY – Hundreds of supporters of striking Momentive workers, including members of the community, local clergy, members of the Labor Movement and elected officials attended a solidary rally this evening, Tuesday, Dec. 13, in Waterford, New York.
Members of IUE-CWA Local 81359/81380 made the difficult decision to strike at Momentive Performance Materials in Waterford, New York, Nov. 2, 2016, as they fight for a fair contract.
Striking Momentive workers and their supporters marched by “candlelight” using flashlights and cellphones from the chemical plant at 260 Hudson River Road in Waterford to Chrome Food and Spirits about a half mile away.
“The show of support tonight was just incredible,” said Dom Patrignani, president of Local 81359. “The decision to strike is never taken lightly, particularly during the holiday season. But, this company has taken too much for too long. We are taking a stand, not only for the men and women who work here at Momentive but, for all hard-working people who are up against corporate greed. We want and deserve a fair contract and this community deserves a safely operated chemical plant.”
There is a growing safety concern at the chemical plant as replacement workers take the jobs of the highly trained union members. The highly skilled members of IUE-CWA Local 81359/81380 handle extremely hazardous materials at the plant on a daily basis.
Congressman Paul Tonko said, “Momentive is a successful and profitable company due in large part to the hard work of their employees, and I commend its workers on their commitment toward seeking a fair contract. The dedication that I have seen during multiple visits to the picket line is encouraging as I hope for a fair outcome to this negotiation. I have had the chance to speak with the CEO of Momentive, and I expressed my hope that he would bargain a fair contract that protects these seven hundred good middle class jobs. As employees, you deserve a contract that protects your rights. With the risk these particular jobs have, you need a health and retirement plan that protects you and your family. I believe that those who serve a company for years with hard work and dedication deserve to taste success.”
Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner said, “I am concerned that these highly trained and skilled workers get a fair contract and that the safety of the surrounding communities is not compromised.”
Assemblymember Phil Steck said, “I commend the workers and especially their families for standing up for what is rightfully due to them. During this Holiday Season, Momentive is asking for deep, costly concessions. I stand with you in solidarity against profit at any cost at the expense of our families and community.”
The video “Strength from the line” highlighting several striking workers was viewed at the event.
Members of IUE-CWA Local 81359/81380 are fighting for a fair and equitable contract with Momentive Performance Materials. Momentive has so far refused to bargain in good faith, instead making proposals that would slash health care, take back younger members retirement security and eliminate all future benefits for retirees.