Union organizers plan to converge on Burnside this week as negotiations continue for a new labor contract at Kingsford Charcoal.
The last contract for the plant’s 106 employees represented by Laborers Local 576 expired last month, according to labor attorney David Suetholz. Suetholz is leading negotiations on behalf of the Laborers for a new contract with The Clorox Company, of which Kingsford is a subsidiary. According to him, one point warranting serious discussion is the company’s proposal to move from three 8-hour shifts to two 12-hour shifts. With the Laborers Local 576 an estimated 1,400 strong, members from across the state plan to rally at the Kingsford gates starting at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
“The workers who’ve been there for years are worried for the health,” Suetholz said. “We’re basically rallying to show that we’re committed to a fair contract for these employees as well as the continued success of this company…Kingsford has been an important employer in Burnside for a long time.”
The attorney added that having a union presence for more than 40 years has played a significant role in the plant’s offering good wages and benefits.
With news of the rally coming over the weekend, attempts to reach The Clorox Company for comment were not successful.