NEWELL-Unionized employees at the Homer Laughlin China Co. are awaiting word of whether they have a new labor contract with one of the tri-state area's largest employers.
Homer Laughlin's contract with the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics & Allied Workers International Union (GMPIU), Local 419, was set to expire at midnight, according to two employees reached by The Review.
The five-year contract, negotiated in 2007, maintained medical coverage, allowed for incremental wage increases and improved vacation and pension benefits, according to GMP Horizons, a union magazine.
Representatives with Local 419 are in the process of negotiating a new contract with the company. Neither union nor company officials could be reached for comment at press time.
An estimated 585 members of Local 419 are employed at the Homer Laughlin plant on Fiesta Drive in Newell.
In the March/April 2010 issue of GMP Horizons, Walter Thorn, former GMPIU secretary-treasurer, was quoted as saying that the union and the company "continue to have a mutually respectful and positive labor-management relationship."