WE HAVE MOVED: Please visit The Union News blog: here.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Truth strike shuts door-part maker for good

For one plant in Valmont Industrial Park, PA the Truth hurts. On Thursday, employees of Truth Hardware, which makes hinges, locks and operators for doors and windows, were given notice that their company would likely close beginning sometime this summer, Channel 13 News reported. The station said it confirmed the closure with a union president at Truth, which, as of July of last year, employed 108 people.

An employee of the plant, who wanted to remain anonymous, confirmed that employees were given a "courtesy notice" but said the company explained that more official confirmation would be delivered via mail in the future.

According to the employee, the departure of workers will be a gradual undertaking and will begin on July 1. The process should conclude in early December.

The employee also said it was learned that the operation will move to Owatonna, Minn., the company’s headquarters.

State Rep. Todd Eachus, D-116, said that he felt for the workers involved in the matter.

"I advocated for them on the picket lines last year," Eachus said, referring to his appearances in support of the Local 90 Union last year, when the company was in the midst of a long labor dispute that saw many within the organization seeking to receive fair unemployment benefits.

"A very troubling thing about the whole situation last year was that many of the strike leaders were fired," Eachus said. "However, a number of those incidences were challenged and led to the reinstatement of some. Unfortunately, many are still on administrative review, and are still waiting."

International representative of the union, Ben Sallemi, said he heard of the closing, but has not received any written documentation on it.

Eachus also said that he hopes employers within Truth are fair when it comes to handling the futures of their workers.

"I just hope they do as much for their employees as they do for their own bottom line," he said.

A phone call to Local 90 Union President Debbie Vermillion was not immediately returned Thursday evening.