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Progress could be made soon in Momentive strike

January 07, 2017 06:23 PM

WATERFORD – It has been more than two months since union workers at Momentive walked off the job.

They haven't left the front gate of the company's plant on Route 4 in Waterford, using whatever they can to make life comfortable on the picket lines.

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“We're as strong as ever,” said union president Dominick Patrignani. “We have support from the Capital District labor unions.”

On cold days like Saturday, they fire up steel drums and burn wood to keep warm -- all of it, they say, are donations from the community.

“We're in this for the long haul,” Patrignani said. “We're in this to take on corporate greed and to try to do whatever we could to get a fair contract for our members.”

The union, IUE-CWA Local 81359, says the sticking points remain the same: healthcare, removal of retiree benefits and issues with their 401K.

A Momentive spokesperson says much of what has been proposed to the union was already accepted by the non-union employees. Both sides will be back negotiating soon. Momentive officials say the union sent them a request to meet.

“Next week we'll be at the table,” Patrignani said. “We have a tentative schedule, [which] I believe is the 10th, 11th and 12th.”

Unemployment insurance checks for the union just started coming in. They continue to highlight safety concerns at the plant with replacement workers they say handling dangerous chemicals.

“It's very unsafe,” Patrignani said. “It's very concerning to the public, to the community,  and to all of us out here.”

In a statement, Momentive said “all personnel who operate our processes complete testing and hands-on training and they qualify to the same standards as our striking union member operators and are in full compliance with all regulatory requirements.”

Credits

WNYT Staff

Copyright 2017 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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