Laid-off Maytag workers called back to work. Talks resume

Laid-off Maytag workers called back to work Talks between Maytag, union scheduled to resume Wednesday
 
Date June 21, 2004
Section(s) Local News
   
 
By JOHN JENNINGS

NDN Staff Writer

With talks between Maytag and UAW Local 997 set to resume Wednesday, those union members who have been laid off by Maytag are receiving letters asking them to return to work.

The letters, sent to about 440 of the 700 laid-off Maytag employees are routine, Maytag officials say, but most union members who receive the letters are expected to say they are on strike and can’t return to work.

The laid-off employees would then become ineligible for certain health care benefits. A series of meetings were scheduled at the UAW union hall today to discuss methods of responding to the letters.

Laid-off union members, as well striking members, no longer have health care benefits covered by the old contract with Maytag. UAW Region 4 Director Dennis Williams, on the union’s Web site, has said the nation’s health care system requires national attention.

“The situation at Maytag is yet one more example of how the United States’ broken health care system is placing enormous strains on the collective-bargaining process — and hurting companies and working families,” Williams wrote. “The single fact is we can’t solve the health care cost crisis at the bargaining table; it’s a national problem that demands a national solution.”

Negotiations between Maytag and the union are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday. UAW Local 997 President Pat Teed has said he is appreciative of community support during the strike.

“I would also like to thank the good people of Newton and the surrounding communities for their overwhelming support,” Teed said on the union’s Web site. “Our membership has supported area businesses for decades and we will continue to support those that support us. We all stand together.”

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