Many people showed up to show their support for United Launch Alliance workers in Decatur who are on strike. The International Association of Machinists Union and ULA officials still haven't met to discuss changes on the new contract.
The two couldn't agree on a contract before the previous one expired yesterday. The contract covers employees at three ULA sites including the manufacturing plant in Decatur.
15 hours after the strike started, workers are picketed all over Decatur, such as Beltline Road and Highway 72. The union said they feel disrespected and they want ULA to know they're serious about negotiating the contract again.
"We're always going to be here to support our brothers and sisters when they're having to go out on strike to support their families," said Anthony Holton.
Anthony Holton with the 2003 chapter in Fort Rucker and he knows what the machinists union at ULA is going through.
"They showed up when we actually had to go out on strike when we had our own contract disputes. They showed up, grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. Fellowshipped with us and let us know they'll stand with us for our family," Holton said.
Around 300 workers are at the manufacturing plant in Decatur. The new contract stated an annual pay increase. However, Matt Griggs, a union representative said it's not about the money. It's about the respect for their families
"They can pick them up on a with a 72 hour notice. Travel them to California or Florida and be away from their families. They can return home and be sent on travel again," said Matt Griggs.
Also, job security plays a big factor with the union.
"The contract is for bargaining unit employees. That's what we are. That's what the members are. The contract states that if we have jobs that is ours. The company is taking those jobs and sub-contracting them out or taking them for their selves," Griggs said.
ULA's President Tony Bruno released a statement and said the contract was more than fair to the workers and he's disappointed the union rejected ULA's last, best and final offer.
"I think they all believed that they were going to get something they deserved, not what was given to them. So it's more of a hurt feeling I would say," Griggs said.
If the strike lasts more than five days, an employee making $20 per hour would lose $6,800 in wages.
"They're on strike. They're not getting paid right now. This is about dignity, pride and their families," Griggs said.
The union said they haven't been on strike here since 2005. They are going to continue to strike until they meet with ULA officials. As of right now, no meeting has been scheduled.
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