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Back to work at Moncure

For the first time in eight months, machinists at Moncure Plywood will dress for work Monday morning.

The plant’s 109 union workers approved a new three-year contract Monday night that will end their strike against Atlas Holdings, the owner of the Chatham County plywood factory. Many of the employees had worked at the plant for decades before striking over company demands for a seven-day workweek and 200 percent increases in health insurance premiums.

The new contract keeps wages and work schedules essentially as they were. But provisions giving workers a share of the plant’s financial success, new safety initiatives and shared decision-making are improvements. There is a slight increase in insurance costs, according to the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

The union and the company approved a tentative agreement late last week during a meeting arranged by a federal mediator. The members endorsed the contract by a vote of 59 to 24.

“Everyone is very relieved,” said Melvin Montford of IAM and the A. Philip Randolph Institute, which had supported the workers during the strike. “If this hadn’t been settled, it was feared that the plant would just shut down and move away.”

4 Comments


  1. James

    March 30, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    This is some good news. Thanks for the report.

  2. Liberaytor

    April 1, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Excellent News!! The Moncure Workers should be commended for their steadfast determination. They have set an example that workers can come together (Black, White, Latino) in the south and fight against unjust conditions in their workplace.

  3. Hope

    April 1, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    The Moncure Plywood workers’ victory and that of the Smithfield meatpacking employees in Tar Heel are two major victories for the labor movement in the South. Congratulations and a huge “job well done!” to all of the workers, community members, and others who supported these important efforts and pushed for justice despite huge challenges in this so-called “right to work” state. ~Hope Marasco

  4. Altha

    April 4, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Let’s keep up the momentum of worker victory. Let’s push mainstream media to cover worker issues, worker struggles, and worker victories too! In the meantime, let’s celebrate Moncure!

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