HUNTINGDON COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Members of Workers United, Local 9 and Mid-Atlantic Regional Joint Board have walked off their job this morning.
Approximately 21 workers at Bleyer Industries have been in negotiations with their employer since December 2019, according to a press release. That included working during the pandemic for all but approximately four weeks that the facility was shut down.
Despite corporate tax breaks of 2017 that were sold to the U.S. taxpayers on the basis it would permit employers to increase wages of their employees and the $350,000 in PPP loans provided, the average wage at the plant is $8.50 an hour. Many of them are dependent on the minimum wage of $7.25.
“We have been beat over the head with the competition of our industry,” President of Local 9 Giorgia Norris said. “Knowing that money was given to our employer but not given to us was the last straw. Everyone has a breaking point.”
The Mount Union plant celebrated its 55-year anniversary in 2018 and is spotlighted by the company as the only remaining manufacturer of Easter grass and spider webs in the U.S.
Sign up for the WTAJ Newsletter for the latest local news, weather and community events that matter to you.