Hundreds rally to support locked out Honeywell union workers

By Julia Bruck - bioemail

Metropolis, IL (KFVS) - Hundred turned out for a labor rally in Massac County, Illinois. The United Steelworkers Union Local 7669 President Darrell Lillie says more than 25-hundred people took part in the event.

Lillie says the rally is to raise awareness about current labor dispute at the Honeywell plant in Metropolis.

For more than a month union employees have been locked out of the plant. The company decided to lock union workers out after the two sides could not reach a new contract agreement back in June.

On Saturday union members from Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee showed up to take  part in the rally. Folks marched with signs from Metropolis to Fort Massac Park, where several speakers took the stage. Lillie says they talked about the troubled contract negations with Honeywell.

"They're wanting us to take a contract that would absolutely destroy what men and women have fought for, for 50 years and we're not interested in doing any of that," Lillie said.

In a statement to heartland news, Honeywell spokesperson Peter Dalpe says "the time and energy invested in planning this weekend's event could have been better spent at the negotiating table working out a fair and equitable agreement that ensures the long term economic viability to the facility, which has lost $100 million over the past 10 years and is on a path to lose $20 million this year."

Dalpe adds the company is disappointed over the recent act of vandalism and harassment targeting salaried employees and temporary contingent workers.

Lillie says he is not aware of any acts of vandalism. He adds locked out union workers have been directed to act appropriate on the picket line and follow the law.

Negotiations between the two groups are set to pick back up on Tuesday.