Lock Out Continues At Mansfield Plumbing While Employees Get Compensation

It's been more than two weeks that employees at Mansfield Plumbing Products in Kilgore have been locked out of their jobs.

But workers are now eligible for some compensation to help the families make ends meet.

Negotiations failed more than two weeks ago, and so far, plans to resume contract negotiations have been delayed.

The company says they locked out employees to impose economic hardships on the workers hopefully forcing them to sign the proposed contract.

But employees say they are able to pay their bills.

   "Right now we're available for unemployment since the company has locked us out and we'll find out Wednesday. We're suppose to have some kind of defense fund coming in through the union to help us out while we're standing out here," says union employee Fred Ankebrant.

The fund is set up for all union workers in a crisis such as the lock out at Mansfield Plumbing.

   "Workers have to be out here at least 20 hours during the week to be eligible for this fund and it's just a little money to help us out for house payments and little things like that," says Ankebrant.

Right now, employees say they have no plans to strike but stand firm in their decision not to sign the company's proposed contract. Still they are hopeful a compromise will be reached soon.