Solvay Workers Reject Company Offer

Members of Local 7-765-01 at Solvay’s Chicago Heights, Ill., plant voted overwhelmingly on Oct. 22, to reject the company’s “last and best” offer.

Negotiations broke-off in February for the 27 USW members because of the Covid-19 pandemic. They resumed the week of October 12.

Solvay proposed an annual wage increase over the three-year contract term. But the company is insisting that the first raise and the start of the new agreement come upon ratification of the new deal rather than applying the first raise retroactively from the Nov. 17, 2019 expiration of the previous contract. The company also refused to backdate the contract.

In addition, management’s proposal included a concessionary management rights clause the company has failed to explain, D7 Staff Representative Frank Shubert said.

The union submitted an information request asking the intent of the changes, but Solvay’s response did not provide much clarity.

Further negotiations are scheduled for Nov. 12.

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