There are 180 workers from the Legget & Platt sofa manufacturing plant who walked out of the job and onto picket lines Monday, after contract negotiations between their union and company officials stalled. The local workers belong to the IUE-CWA union, and union representatives say their main grievances stem from so-called "takeaway proposals."
"Takeaway proposals" are conditions an employer makes in negotiating a new contract when they ask to pull back some of the current benefits package being offered to employees. Negotiators have been trying to hammer out a new five-year collective bargaining agreement, but could not get past the takeaway proposal issue, so workers voted last Friday to strike.
Union officials say they plan to strike around the clock until a federal arbitrator makes a decision, and a new deal is reached. For their part, Legget & Platt officials say the regret the work stoppage, but say they believe the plant's production will not be severely affected.