BASF maintenance workers vote to strike

Posted: Aug. 29, 2014 10:25 am Updated: Sep. 19, 2014 11:15 am

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

PALMYRA, Mo. -- Maintenance workers at the BASF plant near Palmyra have voted to strike after rejecting a contract offer.

Ross Miller, business representative for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 822, said the 46 employees of Be&K Construction will go on strike at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

No talks are scheduled between the union and the company.

"The union is ready to go back to the table at any time," Miller said. "We're waiting to see what the company is going to do. We hope to be back (negotiating) today if they come back to the table to avoid this."

BASF officials could not be reached for comment.

A three-year contract expired on Aug. 12, and the union signed an extension through midnight Thursday while negotiations continued.

"We've met a total of 10 days over a couple months. We've had 10 meetings, three with a federal mediator," Miller said. "We couldn't get anywhere."

Miller declined to talk about stumbling blocks in the talks.

"It's internal stuff. I just don't want to comment on the issues," he said.

The union hopes to finalize another three-year agreement, Miller said.

The construction firm, owned by Houston-based KRB, contracts with BASF to do maintenance work in the plant.

"There's other groups in there, but we are the only full-time maintenance group in there," Miller said.