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TEAMSTERS CHARGE HASBRO THREATENS 'GOOD JOBS,' DENOUNCE CHRISTMAS LOCKOUT

 EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I., Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Stung by a surprise lockout less than two weeks before Christmas, Teamster officials representing 81 warehouse employees at Hasbro, Inc., charged management with pursuing labor policies "destined to cripple Rhode Island and Rhode Islanders" according to James Boyajian, president of Teamsters Local 251 in East Providence.
 "We never had a strike or lockout in all the years we represented the workers at Hasbro. We are shocked and outraged that Hasbro management threw our members out on the street right before Christmas with less than an hour's notice," Boyajian said. "We were negotiating in good faith, we hadn't reached an impasse, we didn't even see the need to call in a mediator. Though the contract expired on Dec. 8, we had agreed to continue working until we were able to negotiate a new contract."
 The union has set up a limited picket line in front of the main Hasbro warehouse in Pawtucket. Unlike a regular strike, most of the locked out workers will be deployed to hand out leaflets in front of toy stores throughout Rhode Island.
 The Teamsters charge that Hasbro's labor policies threaten Rhode Island workers and the economy by forcing local workers to compete against standards of third world countries.
 -- Hasbro threatened to take advantage of the recently signed North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and move its Rhode Island warehouse and manufacturing facilities to Mexico if union workers won't accept a $6.50 rate for new hires.
 -- Hasbro has begun a policy of hiring leased workers from temporary agencies to work in their Pawtucket manufacturing facility with no benefits, no medical insurance and no pensions.
 -- In spite of the Tiananmen Square massacre and ongoing human rights violations, including the jailing and torture of priests and nuns in China, Hasbro continues to manufacture many of their toys in China taking advantage of workers subjected to slave labor working conditions imposed by a communist regime.
 Calling itself "the world's leading manufacturer of toys," Hasbro had sales in 1991 of $2.1 billion, up 41 percent from the previous year. Net income was $122.7 million, up 37 percent from 1990. Though 1992 figures are not in, First Boston estimates that in spite of a weak retail market, 1992 net income is projected at $172 million, for an increase of 40 percent.
 Hasbro's top five officers received cash and bonus compensation worth $3,999,000 last year, with individual compensation ranging to $1.4 million cash for the highest paid officer.
 "Hasbro management has shown us no need, beyond greed, to institute a wage and benefit plan that will hurt Rhode Island workers and the Rhode Island economy. We will continue to bargain, but Hasbro has a lot of explaining to do to account for this surprise Christmas lockout," Boyajian said.
 -0- 12/15/92
 /CONTACT: Jerry O'Connor of the Teamsters Local 251, 401-434-0454/


CO: International Brotherhood of Teamsters ST: Rhode Island IN: SU:

KD -- DC018 -- 7362 12/15/92 15:58 EST
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Date:Dec 15, 1992
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