After meeting with a federal negotiator this week, limestone workers in Oolitic still have not reached a resolution with the Indiana Limestone Company. Union workers are still stationed at the picket lines waiting for a compromise.
Membership Mobilization Director for the Carpenter’s Industrial Council Dan O’Donnell is represented by the same union as the limestone workers. He says employees are ready to negotiate, but the company needs to recognize that it is not right to push workers out who have devoted their careers to the business.
“We did meet with the federal mediator and with the company for discussions, and we’re ready to continue that dialogue by using a federal mediator,” O’Donnell says. “So we’re hoping to get back to the table again soon.”
Negotiator, Mike Fish has worked with the company for eight years. He says he wants a contract that reflects more seniority rights.
“For example, if you have someone who has worked here one year, the company could lay off the person who’s worked for 20 years,” Fish says.
He says workers who have devoted their service need the support, especially those with families that would no longer have health benefits if they were let go.
Job security and pension plans are also being negotiated. Union representatives say they are prepared for further negotiations. Senior Vice President of Operations Duffee Elkins, says the company has no comment.