September 25, 2018

UTAS strike enters second week

A towering inflatable rodent was brought in Monday to join the UTAS protest.

Workers continued to picket the UTC Aerospace Systems plant in Cheshire Tuesday as a strike by unionized employees continued into a second week.

"Go home!" sign-carrying picketers shouted at cars that drove through the line to enter the Knotter Drive facility on Monday night. "Scab rat," a towering inflatable rodent used in many strikes, was brought in Monday to join the protest.

A total of 188 members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) Local 62A walked on Sept. 17 over pay rates and insurance deductibles. A UTC Aerospace Systems spokesperson said the plant, which has roughly 300 employees, would remain in operation despite the strike.

UTC officials have not sat down to talk with the union since last Tuesday, according to Mike Stone, IAM's business representative.

IAM officials said UTC attempted to renegotiate last Tuesday with the same offer it proposed just days before.

"We're going to apply some pressure," Stone said, hinting at further union actions at other UTC locations. "None of the members have crossed the line. We'll continue like that."

At an average of $19.95 per hour, production associates in Cheshire argue they earn far less that their counterparts at plants in Windsor Locks and East Hartford. In a final round of negotiations, UTC workers said they were offered a 2.5 percent pay increase.

UTC officials on Tuesday declined to comment on the ongoing strike.

Joe Cooper contributed to this story

Read more

Pay, health insurance costs driving UTC aerospace strike

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