Close to 100 Tyler steelworkers went on strike today.
They could not reach a contract agreement last night with their employer, Vesuvius USA. The Local 58 union has spent the past week meeting with Vesuvius executives and are not satisfied with the proposed wages and benefits.
"We were pretty optimistic at that time that we would be able to come to an agreement with the company," James Wilkins, Local 58 Unit president, said. "But as time went on, we found out that they didn't want to work with us. And this was our last resort. We kind of felt like our backs were against the wall. And we had to do what we had to do."
Vesuvius USA's HR manager, Kevin Hampton, issued a statement, saying: "Vesuvius management has made every reasonable effort to resolve differences over labor contract terms with its local union at the Tyler plant... Apparently, these offers were rejected as leverage to seek resolution to an individual's grievance."
Vesuvius says it will remain open for business during this dispute.