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CCL CONTAINER Strike hinges on workers' contract vote



Published: Wed, July 18, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The company told workers its most recent contract proposal would be the final offer, a union officials says.

HERMITAGE, Pa. -- CCL Container production and maintenance employees are prepared to strike at midnight Saturday if the union that represents them doesn't reach an agreement with the company this week, the union president said.

David Paulsen, president of International Union of Electrical Workers Local 648, said workers will vote Thursday on what the company describes as its final offer. The proposal was given to the union earlier this week.

Paulsen declined to discuss the contents of the proposal.

Recapping the situation: The 154 members of IUE-CWA Local 648 voted overwhelmingly last month to reject a tentative agreement worked out by negotiators, sending talks back to the bargaining table.

After that vote, contract talks were put on hold because most of the workers were on vacation.

The old contract expired July 1, but union representatives had not set a formal strike deadline until earlier this week.

Paulsen said the decision was made after negotiators were told the current proposed contract would be the company's final offer. Company spokesman Samuel Ragusa was not available for comment.

The union had presented a letter to the company asking that the previous contract be extended while talks continued and the company complied.

Paulsen said workers are now prepared to strike, however.




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