GREEN ISLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Honeywell workers locked out of the Green Island facility appreciate the support of the community as the holiday season approaches.
It’s been six months since Honeywell workers in Green Island have been locked out of their jobs for what they called “corporate greed.” Workers have been rallying for a fair contract and to be able to return to their jobs.
But as the holidays approach, it’s taking a toll on them.
Workers said its been too cold for rallies, so they set up a tent also known as a “strike kitchen.” It’s where the locked out workers stay to keep warm. They’ve also received support from the community in the form of donations and food to help them get through.
Timmy Vogt is one of the 40 locked out workers in New York. He and three other workers have stayed camped out in the tent to lift each other’s spirits up.
“The support has just been overwhelming,” he said. “That’s what keeps us going.”
They have been locked out since May 9, and they said they’re going to stand their ground until they get a fair contract. But they said what Honeywell offered is far from it.
“I mean, it was a high deductible healthcare plan, but no more pensions, no more supplemental employment insurance, no more cost of living allowances, and no wage increases to help us with the high deductible healthcare plan,” Vogt said.
A total of 360 workers have been locked out: 40 in New York and 320 in South Bend, Ind. Honeywell’s unionized workers in Green Island voted to approve a contract offer, but the offer was rejected by the workers at Honeywell’s plant in Indiana.
As a result, workers in Green Island will remain locked out with no planned negotiations. Honeywell is currently operating its plant using nonunion workers.
Vogt has been a loyal employee for close to 30 years. He said workers have always maintained a good relationship with the company and extended their contracts.
Workers got their last check a few months ago, and in the meantime, they’re finding ways to still celebrate the holidays like everyone else.
“A lot of cash donations,” Vogt said. “We just got these harvest baskets from a local UAW – everything you can possibly imagine for Thanksgiving.”
Comparing Honeywell to Momentive and Verizon, Vogt said corporate greed has gotten the best of big companies.
“I think Honeywell is one of the richest companies in the country right now, and they want us to pay these high deductible healthcare plans, and they don’t need to,” he said.
The locked out workers said they plan to have food pantries and toy drives. Anyone interested in helping the workers get through the holidays can send donations to the following address:
UAW Local 1508
P.O. BOX 1508
Green Island, N.Y. 12183