Trucks and cars honked in support of picketers who have been on strike for about two weeks. The Indiana Limestone Company workers say they are ready to negotiate new terms with their employee in Oolitic, just north of Bedford, but the proposal put forth has not been accepted.
Ron Watson, a father of six children and 20 year veteran of the company, says he is ready to get back to work but not until things improve.
“They’re trying to take away our seniority rights,” he says. “I’ve been in and out of this mill for over 20 years, and the language they’re trying to put in there could send me home.”
About 75 people are on strike. Senior Administrator of the Indiana Limestone Company Duffee Elkins says the company has not missed any deadlines thus far, but with less 20 people working the entire mill, they have had to prioritize.
“We’ve always been willing to negotiate and we have. We’re hoping that the Union will reach out to us, and we can get a better grasp really on what the issues really are,” he says. “We have given them a proposal, and we’re hoping we can get some feedback on that proposal.”
Union Spokesman, Dan O’Donnell says the workers are ready to sit down at the bargaining table and negotiate so people can get back to work. O’Donnell says job fairness rather than arbitrary termination should be part of the discussion.
“The company had proposed that putting the burden of any additional pension or liabilities, the employees would pay for that themselves,” he says.
The previous contract expired on October 31.