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TAMCO Ex-workers put little faith in Snyder's proposal



Published: Tue, August 20, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Former warehouse workers are finding it tough to find a good-paying job.

THE VINDICATOR, YOUNGSTOWN

By DON SHILLING

VINDICATOR BUSINESS EDITOR

YOUNGSTOWN -- Many former Tamco workers are out looking for other work, tired of hearing that Snyder's Drug Stores may reopen the warehouse.

"I don't have much hope for Snyder's," said Lynda Maschek, 46, of Austintown.

She and others have grown tired of Snyder's continually saying it is interested in operating the Austintown warehouse, which closed last month when Phar-Mor decided to liquidate its stores.

After failing to get the warehouse in a bankruptcy court auction, the Minnesota-based drugstore chain now says it is trying to buy Tamco. Although the 250-employee warehouse was operated by Phar-Mor, the building is owned by Giant Eagle.

Teamsters Local 377 officials met with union members Monday to tell them that Snyder's wants a labor contract by the end of this week. Union leaders say Snyder's is choosing between Tamco and a warehouse in Kansas City.

If Snyder's selects Tamco, between 100 and 200 workers could be on the job shortly.

Have doubts

Many Tamco workers said after the meeting they aren't expecting the Snyder's deal to go through.

"I don't think it's going to happen with Snyder's. I just don't have a good feeling," said Tammy Fink, 44, of Austintown.

Tammy Kishok, 40, of Berlin Center said she thinks Giant Eagle is just trying to keep up its community image and actually won't sell Tamco.

Many also are disappointed that Snyder's wants a new contract, which union officials expect will not be as good in some respects as the contract with Phar-Mor.

Maschek said that she is grateful for her 28 years at the warehouse but that she won't go back if she doesn't retain her seniority rights.

She is considering going to Youngstown State University to become a dietitian or taking a truck driving job elsewhere. She was a truck driver at Tamco.

"At least Tamco gave me something. I'm not as bad off as others," she said.

Fink said she knows she has to get some training to land a job that paid as well as Tamco, where she made $13.66 an hour.

She has been to the Mahoning & amp; Columbiana Training Association for job skill testing but isn't sure what type of training to pursue.

"It's like starting all over again," she said.

Low-paying jobs

So far, she can't find a job that pays better than unemployment compensation.

Kishok, a warehouse worker, also has been to the training agency but isn't sure which direction to head. Her husband, who was a truck driver at Tamco, just accepted a long-haul driving job.

Frank Esposito, 43, of Poland said he has been relying on unemployment checks.

"The best things out there pay $8 an hour and no one wants to pay benefits," he said.

Esposito, who also said he doesn't think Snyder's will take over the warehouse, said this is a difficult time for him to be without work because he has a stepdaughter getting married next month and a son who will be a senior in high school.

"It's tough," he said. "It's tough."

shilling@vindy.com




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