Wednesday, November 4, 2009

SK Workers Vote to End Strike and Sign Contract

From Teamsters Local 743:

Teamster members voted by a 3 to 1 margin to accept the Company’s contract proposal, which includes health insurance, and return to work.

Teamsters Local 743 union members working at SK Hand Tools had been on strike for over nine weeks due to the company’s unilateral withdrawal of the workers’ health insurance without notice.

“Because we are Teamsters and willing to fight, we’re now the only employees at SK with health insurance. This is something that all Americans should have,” stated Emilio Lunar, SK steward and strike leader.

Non-union workers at SK continue to work without health insurance.

“These brave sisters and brothers stood together on the picket line 24 hours a day and became the voice of workers in the national health care debate. Political pressure from the Governor, several U.S. Congressmen, and US Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, along with the informational leafleting at Sears stores, showed SK that the Union was serious in its demands,” stated Local 743 President Richard Berg.

The strike at SK made national news as mechanics and tool dealers from around the country called the company to demand that they bargain fairly with the Union.

Local 743 President Richard Berg will be available for comments and interviews.

SK Hand Tool has been making high quality metal tools in Chicago for 88 years. SK workers have been in contract negotiations for nine months. The company has been in the Teamsters union since 1968. SK Hand Tool currently employs about 70 workers.

Teamsters Local 743 represents 11,000 workers throughout the Chicagoland area working in manufacturing, health care, clerical, food service, warehouse and maintenance industries.

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