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USW: STEELWORKERS SEE 'DOUBLE CROSS' IN GEDNEY'S DECISION TO MOVE

 USW: STEELWORKERS SEE 'DOUBLE CROSS' IN GEDNEY'S DECISION TO MOVE
 WALLINGFORD, Conn., Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers of America (USW) said today that OZ/Gedney's decision to cut operations at its plant in Plymouth, Conn., amounts to a double cross of the union, the company's workers, and the Plymouth community.
 "Gedney never said a word to the union about its intentions or gave us a chance to help them work out their problems," said USW staff representative Jim Chieppo. "We asked Gedney to meet with us to talk about this situation. We're still waiting for a reply."
 Gedney, on Jan. 31, announced that it plans to cut 210 jobs at the Plymouth plant and to move most of the operations to plants in other states. USW Local 2321 represents about 275 of the plant's workers.
 Chieppo said that Gedney had called the union on Jan. 10, to request a meeting. The union immediately agreed, and the parties met on Jan. 13. At that meeting, Chieppo said, the company representatives said they wanted to discuss possible job combinations. They also said the company wanted early negotiations on the union contract, which expires April 15.
 "We asked them to give us a specific proposal of what they need, and we'd be prepared to talk about it," Chieppo said. "They said nothing about the company considering a move out of state."
 On Jan. 28, having had no response to its request for a specific proposal, the union called the company to request another meeting, which took place the next day, Jan. 29. At that meeting, Chieppo said, the union asked to see the company's books, which is normal when a company claims it is losing money and wants concessions from the union.
 "We were told that they were making money, they just weren't making enough money," Chieppo said. "They still said nothing about any plan to cut jobs and move out of state."
 "Everyone involved is willing to help this company -- the union, the town of Plymouth, and the state of Connecticut -- but the company apparently decided it didn't want to talk or tell anyone about its problems, it just wanted to move out."
 "The Gedney plant has been part of the Plymouth community since 1847," Chieppo added. "Its employees, including hundreds of Steelworkers, have dedicated their lives to helping this company succeed. Less than a month ago, the company president accepted a community service award from the Chamber of Commerce for what everyone thought were his efforts to keep the plant in Plymouth. Now Gedney turns around and says it's moving out. If that's not a double cross, I don't know what is."
 -0- 2/7/92
 /CONTACT: Jim Chieppo of USW, 203-265-7791/ CO: United Steelworkers of America; OZ/Gedney ST: Connecticut IN: MNG SU: CON


CD -- PG003 -- 7672 02/07/92 10:13 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 7, 1992
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