Morbern workers on strike

Workers burn wood in oil barrels to keep warm outside the Morbern plant Monday, April 4, 2016 on Boundary Road in Cornwall, Ont. The company has around 256 employees. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – Workers at Morbern were walking the picket line Monday morning.

Some of the 250 workers at the Boundary Road plant were stationed outside the two entrances, burning pieces of wood in oil barrels for warmth.

Many were holding placards that simply said “On Strike”, but gave no indication of what their issue is with the company.

A union worker told Cornwall Newswatch they had “nothing to say” around 10 a.m. but later indicated that United Steelworkers Union Local 9343 President, Dave Branchaud, would make a statement later in the day.

Workers at Morbern picket outside the company Monday, April 4, 2016 on Boundary Road in Cornwall, Ont. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)
Workers at Morbern picket outside the company Monday, April 4, 2016 on Boundary Road in Cornwall, Ont. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

 

Workers have been without a contract since the beginning of the year and talks have broken down.

The union claims there’s been a shift in management over the years which has strained the relationship between the two sides.

The issues are contract language relating to shifts and the application of vacation and statutory holiday pay to those shifts. Compensation levels for long term disability is another outstanding issue.

Labour strife at the plant is nothing new. Employees staged a wildcat strike in 2014 over workplace safety and also hit the bricks in 2011 over contract negotiations.

The company declined to comment on the labour impasse.

Morbern makes vinyl decorative upholstery fabrics and specially knitted fabrics for clients, including those in the automotive industry.

 

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