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Machinists on Strike at Kansas Auto-Parts Company

August 28, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

WICHITA, Kan.—Workers at a Wichita auto-parts retailer and warehouse went out on strike Aug. 17, the morning after they’d rejected the company’s final contract offer by a 35-2 vote. International Association of Machinists District 70 President Cornell Beard told the Wichita Eagle that Garnett Auto Supply and Jobbers Automotive Warehouse had been demanding “all take-aways” from the drivers and warehouse workers in the union’s Lodge 708. The company, Lodge 708 said, had proposed eliminating paid vacation and sick leave, reducing its pension-fund contributions by 40%, and eliminating health insurance and pensions for part-time workers. “The company is not interested in the simplest things, not even cost of living [adjustments],” Beard said, while most workers make less than $10 an hour. “We’re really not wanting a whole lot,” he added. Garnett and Jobbers President Bob Evans told the Eagle that his companies were open for “business as usual.” The Machinists have asked the National Labor Relations Board to rule the walkout an unfair-labor-practices strike, which would bar the employer from replacing strikers with other new workers.  Read more

August 28, 2018

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