Assemblymembers Carrie Woerner (Round Lake), John McDonald (Cohoes), Phil Steck (Colonie), Sean Ryan (Buffalo), Nily Rozic (Queens), Harry Bronson (Rochester), and others joined striking Momentive workers on the picket line outside of the Waterford plant Monday morning. The Assemblymembers joined the workers to demonstrate their support for the unions right to a fair contract.
Over 750 of our community members have been out of work for over three months because of this strike, and their return to the jobs they do so well is long overdue, said Assemblywoman Woerner. The workers at Momentive are highly skilled and dedicated to the continued safety of their work environment, which has been jeopardized by the new workers hired to serve in place of those on strike. I call on Momentives leadership to re-join their employees at the negotiating table, and to develop a contract that provides the health care and retirement benefits that these employees deserve.
Assemblyman John T. McDonald III said, As I have mentioned time and time again, the continuation of this strike is of no benefit to the company or its workers, many of whom are now relegated to unemployment. The impact this strike has on the workers families, the community and the region is real. I continue to encourage the leadership at the company and the union leadership to work towards a fair resolve.
Assemblyman Phil Steck said, Reality TV is being produced right here in the Capital District. By that, I do not mean the type of reality TV that elected our President, but the reality that will befall the American middle class if we do not act. It is in the best interest of all of us to defend the economic positions of workers at Honeywell and Momentive. The current situation nationwide in which 99% of all new income goes to the top 1% will eventually take us back to the economic disaster which was 2008. As a state legislator, I know that will mean loss of State revenue and inability to fund our education system. Its all related. Their fight is our fight.
Assemblyman Sean Ryan said, I am honored to stand shoulder to shoulder to fight back against efforts to cut benefits and weaken workers rights at Momentive. The health problems as a result of working at Momentive are impacting hundreds of retired workers. It is appalling that Momentive is trying to cut retirement and health benefits for workers who have dedicated themselves to this company for years. Hard working middle class New Yorkers deserve a contract from Momentive that respects workers rights and benefits.
Assemblyman Harry Bronson said, I stand with the hard working members of IUE-CWA Locals 81359 and 81830 and their families against the greed on display by Momentives management team. These are skilled, knowledgeable workers who merely want fair pay to provide for themselves and their families. Dangerous chemicals are produced at this plant and management, instead of negotiating in good faith, has decided to use replacement workers in the plant which is setting the stage for a potential disaster. It is time to put safety and families first, and negotiate a fair contract.
Assemblywoman Nily Rozic said, Since November 2016, Momentive workers made the difficult decision to go on strike following contract negotiations that drastically cut back on healthcare coverage, wages, and retirement benefits. Today, I stand with IUE-CWA Local 359 in urging company executives to return to the negotiating table and settle a contract with the health and safety of the workers and surrounding community in mind.
Members of IUE-CWA Local 359 employed by Momentive Performance Materials, Inc. have been on strike for over three months in an effort to negotiate a fair contract for current workers and retirees. The strike began on November 2, 2016, with over 700 employees. Momentive is pushing for a contract which would cut health care and pension benefits for current workers, and health care and life insurance coverage for future retirees.
The Assemblymembers joining the strike are concerned for the safety and wellbeing of the community, considering the significant increase in chemical spills and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) citations at the Momentive plant since the strike began.