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Strike at CertainTeed in Norwood to continue today

Posted by Natalie Feulner  December 21, 2011 10:00 AM

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Teamsters Local 25 has announced at least 90 members will continue striking today at CertainTeed Saint-Gobain on Pleasant Street in Norwood.

According to a news release about the strike, employees were particularly upset after the company suggested offering $1,000 in bonuses to employees to offset its refusal to provide them with health insurance.

However, Mike Loughery, a spokesman for CertainTeed said in an email that the proposal was not intended to replace a benefit package.

"The fact is, the $1,000 was to be a bonus payment to each employee had they ratified the contract on December 18. This has nothing to do with the employees’ health insurance coverage which is still very much a benefit and included in the contract proposal," the statement said.

However, Teamsters Local 25 President, Sean M. O’Brien said it was like “getting coal in your stocking.”

“No one wants to strike in this economy - especially during the holiday season – but CertainTeed gave us no choice,” he said in a statement.

Members have continued to form a picket line since late Monday afternoon and plan to continue through December and into January unless CertainTeed agrees to negotiations.

"We’ll strike through the holidays and into the new year if that is what it takes to get CertainTeed to return to the negotiating table," O'Brien said.

CertainTeed, a roofing materials and shingles manufacturer headquartered in Valley Forge, Penn. has more than 7,000 employees nationwide. Teamsters Local 25 represents 11,000 members residing throughout Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.

Natalie Feulner can be reached at natalie.feulner@gmail.com.

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