La Gloria Workers Discuss Possible Strike - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/25/04-Smith County

La Gloria Workers Discuss Possible Strike

A pending strike for union members at La Gloria Oil and Gas Company of Tyler, has left some East Texas families looking for answers.

Without a new contract, more than 100 workers are set to go on strike at the end of the month.  Some of those workers got together Sunday to discuss their situation with those they care about the most.

Blaine McMichael is one of the 132 union workers facing a crucial week.

"Scared and worried," he said.  "I've got a wife and five children and this job is my livelihood and to know, or for the uncertainty of not knowing what's gonna happen here in a week or two, if I'm even gonna have a job."

A pending strike has folks like McMichael concerned not only about their jobs but about their futures.  After weeks of negotiation over a new contract, the stress has even spilled over into their daily lives.

"I've got a little 7-year-old daughter and she's heard the word strike a lot here lately and she's asked me a lot of questions about strike what that means," he said  "It affects everybody, not just me and the employees but our families."

Union representative Sue Robertson said many times families are overlooked in these types of situations.

"It's important for them to see they are not alone in this time of possible work stoppage and see the leadership, what we have planned and what we plan to do, and what the company has told them."

Over a barbcue lunch, these families had the chance to talk about their futures, a future that, for now, is uncertain.

"We're all one big family out there at La Gloria," McMichael said.  "There is 132 of us union members and we look out for each other, whether it's my job on the line or one of those operators' job on the line it's each one of our place to take up for each other and make sure we're gonna be able to take care of our families in the future."

Union representatives plan to meet with La Gloria officials Monday.  A federal mediator is set to come in Friday to assist if negotiations fail.  The current work contract for union members ends August 1.

Chris Gibson, reporting
cgibson@kltv.com

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