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Temporary workers now at American Standard in Salem

Published: Thu, November 13, 2008 @ 2:42 p.m.

SALEM — Management and striking workers at American Standard remain at an impasse.

Tracy Benson Kirker, a spokeswoman for the company, said today that 50 temporary workers began working at the plant Wednesday.

Another 70 temporary workers will report to work Monday.

A federal mediator and some area officials have been involved in talks, but no new negotiations are scheduled.

The plant employed about 340 members of United Steelworkers of America Local 1538.

The company announced Oct. 22 that it moved some of the plant’s higher-volume acrylics products to a plant in Mexico. That resulted in the permanent reduction of 20-30 jobs from the Salem plant.

Last week, the company moved more of its acrylic products and steel bathtubs to a facility in Stratford, Ontario, Canada. The move, according to the company, is meant to be temporary, but could become permanent with the loss of 20-25 more jobs.

Some 19 union workers have crossed the line, and Kirker said more are expected to cross.

The company has told striking workers they can return under the company’ best and final offer, which called for wage cuts but included production incentives.

A union spokesman was unavailable to comment.

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