Teamsters Local 371 has ended its strike at Nichols Aluminum but is awaiting the Davenport company’s next move as to whether the employees will return to work, the union president said this morning.
Local 371 president Howard Spoon said the union ended its strike Friday afternoon and sent a letter to Nichols informing the company about its decision.
“We are returning all of our strikers so the company has to make a decision — are they going to lock our people out, take them back or what are they going to do?” Spoon said, adding that he had not heard any news yet this morning.
The strike was ended after Spoon said Nichols made “a pretty strange move with making its replacement workers permanent.”
Last week, Nichols Aluminum President Tom Brackmann said the company had offered full-time positions to more than 100 temporary workers and the workers accepted the offer. At the time, he said they also would continue hiring new employees.
According to Spoon, that was a “risky move” because the union still has unfair labor practice charges pending against the company.
“I was surprised they would do that without having those decisions rendered by the National Labor Relations Board,” he said.
Brackmann could not be reached this morning for comment.
Spoon said the union and company still have a negotiation meeting scheduled for Wednesday.
“We’ve told our members they should be calling the company and telling them they’re ready for work,” he said. “If they are told they are on layoff, then they can file for unemployment. But the company has the responsibility to tell the employees what they are going to do.”
Union members have been on strike since they walked off the job Jan. 20 when contract negotiations reached an impasse. The workers overwhelmingly turned down a contract proposal during a vote Feb. 15.