NILES - More than 40 steelworkers at Phillips Manufacturing walked off the job today, striking over what they say are unfair wages, benefits and working conditions.
The members of United Steelworkers Local 4564-02 began their strike at 11:40 a.m., when workers shut down their machines for a scheduled lunch period, walked out of the plant and began their pickets at 504 Walnut Street.
Workers have remained on the job since Aug. 9 when their previous contract expired. During that time the sides have met 15 times, but major disputes remain in seniority issues and health insurance language, along with wages, said Dennis Brubaker, staff representative with the United Steelworkers who was involved in the talks.
"We took a vote Tuesday. We've made it known that we would strike at will because we didn't have an extension (to the contract)," Brubaker said.
Phillips Director of Human Resources Brad Garlock declined to comment on the specifics of the negotiations, but did release a brief statement expressing the company's disappointment.
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