Tecnocap Strike Enters Week Seven

Workers unable to research agreement with company

Photo by Alan Olson International Association Of Machinists And Aerospace Workers member Bert Archey mans the picket line at Tecnocap in 85 degree weather Friday afternoon.

Laborers on strike from the Glen Dale Tecnocap facility have seen a shift in their beverages from hot chocolate to ice water as the seasons change.

Picketers are entering their seventh week striking along W.Va. 2.

The International Association Of Machinists And Aerospace Workers officially went on strike Sunday, April 8, after a failure to reach an agreement regarding their contract. IAMAW Eastern Territory spokesman John Carr said the union had met with the company again later that week to negotiate, but an agreement was not able to be reached.

“Tecnocap refused to present written proposals, that differentiated with the existing collective bargaining agreement to the Negotiating Committee,” said IAM District 54 President and Directing Business Representative T. Dean Wright Jr.

Picket lines resumed immediately after negotiations fell through and have continued in the meantime. Once still bundled in coats, sunblock-slathered laborers now sit under plastic shelters in front of the building.

The last official update on the situation was offered April 16. Carr has not responded to requests for new information.

Union member Bert Archey said public support has been continuous, from honking in support of the picket line to donations of drinks from well-wishes on foot.

“There’s been a lot of support — just only a couple people that yell mean thing at you,” Archey said. “People stop by and they’ll bring us water, pop things like that. When we first started it was hot chocolate, and now it’s water. And some other unions across the state are helping us out now.”

Archey said the heat was a concern for the picketers, and that the approximately 30 workers taking to the line each day rotate on a schedule every few hours to minimize exposure to the elements.

“We’re out here on four hour intervals, which helps break it up some,” he said. “There’s 30 of us on strike, so it’s enough that we group up in twos. We split it up to be a little bit lesser hours.”

Tecnocap’s corporate offices were closed Friday in anticipation of the Memorial Day holiday and could not be reached for comment.