Following a four year wage freeze (!), the Staley local of the Allied Industrial Workers
arrived at the bargaining table to discover that the new owners expected them to accept "rotating shifts, the deskilling of jobs, the elimination of most safety procedures, and other major concessions." (22) Wholesale firings of union-friendly managers, the elimination of one-fourth of the company's white collar employees, and the adoption of non-union contractors signaled the company's determination to restructure.
On December 22, 1995, the locked-out Staley workers, members of the Allied Industrial Workers
when the lockout began and members of the United Paperworkers International Union (UPIU) after a union merger in 1994, voted 286 to 226 to accept a company contract offer and return to work.
Last year at Christmastime, 60 members of Decatur's clergy signed a newspaper ad calling for peace and goodwill between the warring parties, Local 837 of the Allied Industrial Workers
and Staley management.
The day marks the fiftieth anniversary of Allied Industrial Workers
Local 837, the union that represents some 760 workers at Decatur's A.E.
Most significantly, Staley has imposed a contract on the members of Local 837 of the Allied Industrial Workers
that Dave Watts, the local president, says is "just one management rights clause from beginning to end?' At the heart of it is the brutal manipulation of workers' lives through forced twelvehour shifts (without overtime) and the introduction of work teams that, destroy seniority.
Members of Allied Industrial Workers
Local 812, the employees voted 131-7 to reject the concessions.