AGY workers go on strike, demand "fair" contract

By: Staff Email
By: Staff Email
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Workers at a plant in Aiken are striking because of what they call an "unfair" contract with the company. They walked out at 12:01 a.m. Friday morning.


Friday, May 2, 2014

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW) -- Hundreds of workers the local AGY plant in Aiken are striking early this morning.

According to AGY's website, "AGY is a world leader in high performance materials used in a broad range of markets, including Automotive, Construction, Defense, Electronics, Aerospace, Marine, and Recreation."

Employees walked out after midnight on Friday and met at their union hall on Park Avenue. The union scheduled to picket at the entrances of AGY Friday morning.

A letter from union negotiating committee lists problems with the new company contracts. Click here for the letter given to AGY employees.

Just a few of the problems include the start of unannounced drug tests, limiting back pay and a revised attendance policy. The letter also states the contract would cut wages and slash benefits, according to workers at the plant.

Company management also says it would be bringing in temporary workers. Employees said dozens of temporary workers have been brought to the plant and that more are expected.

The workers to report a union trailer set up at the picket headquarters, not far from the plant.

At the bottom of this letter to workers it states, "If we all stick together, we can win a fair contract that does not destroy your job security and the seniority rights that you have enjoyed since the AGY plant has been in existence."

This isn't the first strike from the Union Teamsters that represents the workers at AGY.

In 2011, workers at the Owens Corning insulation plant in Aiken County, also associated with teamster, went on strike. Workers were negotiating a new contract.

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