With no end in sight, the Steelworkers are asking people to sign a ‘solidarity pledge’ as the lockout at a Dow chemical drags on towards its second month.
DEER PARK, TX—Unions in Texas are trying to rally behind union workers represented by the United Steelworkers who have been locked out of their jobs at a Dow Chemical plant since April.
Similar to union strikes, lockouts are lawful tactics occasionally used by companies to put economic pressure on unions to accept company offers, or to prevent sabotage or so-called “quickie strikes.”
“Locking out long-term employees and preventing them from working simply because they don’t agree with you is arrogant and just plain wrong,” Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy and Secretary-Treasurer Montserrat Garibay wrote in an open letter.
Dow locked out its unionized workforce at the Deer Park plant in late April after the union workers rejected the company’s “last, best, and final offer.”
Not even hurricane-like winds and huge hail will stop us from standing up to @DowDuPontCo who locked out our sisters and brothers in Deer Park, Texas. RT if you’re with us! #1u #uswunity pic.twitter.com/5meba2YEcg
— United Steelworkers (@steelworkers) May 11, 2019
Unlike strikes, which are voluntary—union members and non-members can choose to cross union picket lines to work—employers are required to lock out the entire unionized bargaining unit, union members and non-members alike.
In a state like Texas, which is a Right-to-Work state, it is possible for workers to not be members of a union, but still end up locked out.
Since April, the union has launched a ‘solidarity pledge’ campaign asking the public to sign a pledge in support of the locked-out workers.
As there is no time limit to lockouts, there is no telling how long the Dow workers may be locked out of their jobs.
In 2016, for example, a two-year lockout of Steelworkers only ended when Sherwin Alumina announced the permanent closure of its Gregory, Texas plant.
Years earlier, Crown Oil had a five-year lockout in Pasadena, Texas involving the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers (which later merged into the United Steelworkers).
Until there is movement from either the company or the union, it appears the lockout will continue to drag on.
Have you signed our solidarity pledge to show members of USW 13-1 you’re with them after @DowDuPontCo walked away from the negotiating table and locked them out of their jobs? https://t.co/OMc3tuBBK7 #1u #uswunity pic.twitter.com/SXlarYFFIt
— United Steelworkers (@steelworkers) May 15, 2019
— Houston Firefighters (@FirefightersHOU) May 16, 2019
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