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Honeywell, Local 7-669 to resume bargaining

Staff report

Honeywell and United Steelworkers Local 7-669 will return to the bargaining table later this month following a failure Friday night to reach an agreement on a new contract.

The company and the union met at 10 a.m. Saturday and agreed to evaluate their positions and resume bargaining for a full week starting Aug. 18, Honeywell spokesman Peter Dalpe said in an emailed statement.

After the union declined to vote Friday night on a proposal Honeywell management had offered earlier that evening, Honeywell notified the union that its workers would be locked out of the plant, according to a news release from union spokesman John Paul Smith.

The statement said that salaried personnel with "no experience whatsoever" will operate the plant during the lockout and expressed concern over public safety. But Honeywell described the workers, who took over operations just after midnight Saturday, as having received the same training and certifications that union employees are required to undergo before working in the same roles at the plant.

Honeywell's proposed contract included wage increases of 2 percent each year, the same pension benefits for current union employees and the same health care benefits agreed upon under the last three-year contract.

Smith said the union members unanimously declined to vote on the contract, adding that it would cost members an extra $8,000 per year. The union made what Smith called a comprehensive counter-proposal around 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Honeywell declined that proposal as unreasonable, citing its wage increase of 5 percent each year, the immediate addition of 50 new union positions to the plant, and a guarantee that staffing levels would never decrease.

Both sides say they're committed to continuing negotiations in good faith.

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