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USWA: GENERAL CHEMICAL BREAKS OFF CONTRACT TALKS, LOCKS OUT STEELWORKERS

 CLAYMONT, Del., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers of America (USWA) said today that the General Chemical Corp. broke off contract negotiations today with Local Union 12781 of the USWA and ordered 220 union members employed at its South Works here off the premises.
 The union's previous contract expired March 17 but had been extended on a day-to-day basis as negotiations continued.
 The union said the dispute centered on the company's demands for reductions in health care coverage and increases in employee health insurance contributions, for both active and retired workers.
 The lockout was condemned by David Foster, director of USWA District 33 and head of the union's General Chemical negotiating committee. The company has contracts with the union at six other locations that expire later this year -- Green River, Wyo.; Syracuse, N.Y.; Denver; Newell, Pa.; Hopewell, Va.; and the North Works, also located here in Claymont.
 "There simply is no justification for the lockout and no justification for the company's demands," Foster said. "There are only 200 retirees companywide, compared with an active work force of 1,100. That's a very respectable ratio that is not putting a burden on the company."
 John Reck, director of USWA District 7 in which Claymont is located, called the company position an attack on employee wages and retiree pensions.
 "For retirees, an increase in health costs is a de facto decrease in their pensions," Reck said. "For the actives, the effect would be a reduction in their wages. The company hasn't demonstrated a need for either of these moves."
 The USWA represents about 900 of General Chemical's 1,100 hourly workers. The largest Steelworker unit, 500 members, is employed at Green River.
 /delval/
 -0- 4/30/93
 /CONTACT: David Foster, director of USWA District 33, 218-722-2869; John Reck, director of USWA District 7, 215-265-7577; or USWA Communications Department, in Pittsburgh, 412-562-2442/


CO: United Steelworkers of America; General Chemical Corp. ST: Pennsylvania, Delaware, Wyoming IN: CHM SU: CON

DM -- PG014 -- 3298 04/30/93 14:38 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 30, 1993
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