Texas AFL-CIO Makes Statement of Solidarity With Locked-Out USW Members at Dow Chemical Plant in Deer Park

Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy and Secretary-Treasurer Montserrat Garibay published the following open letter in support of locked-out United Steelworkers families in Deer Park.

The union continues to hold strong:

May 6, 2019 

To Whom It May Concern:

On behalf of the Texas AFL-CIO, we call on Dow Chemical and its subsidiaries at its Deer Park plant to return to the negotiating table and work in good faith with United Steelworkers Local 13-1 toward a fair contract.

Locking out long-term employees and preventing them from working simply because they don't agree with you is arrogant and just plain wrong. Dow is highly profitable, and a lockout is a radical, bad-faith tactic that seeks to squeeze employees until they accept an inferior contract.

When 98 percent of your employees reject the most recent "last, best and final offer" - an astonishing percentage that is even worse than the 96 percent who rejected the first "last, best and final" offer - the company might want to consider that the goal of reaching a contract deal has moved in the wrong direction. 

Instead of respecting the clear message from employees and seeking a mutual agreement, the company is now playing games by trying to bypass established communications channels in the collective bargaining process. What is it about 98 percent that Dow doesn't understand? The company's conduct goes against fundamental requirements of the National Labor Relations Act and amounts to a public show of disrespect to USW and the collective bargaining process.

The state labor federation, in solidarity with USW, will do everything in our power to support the brave Brothers and Sisters who are standing up for themselves in a quest for a fair contract. We condemn any activity that seeks to undermine solidarity within the union or within the Texas labor movement. We also have a piece of advice for the company: This exercise in corporate greed won't work.

USW has remained prepared to bargain at all points leading up to and including the lockout. While working families at Dow are taking the brunt of the harm, entire communities in and around Deer Park are also suffering because of a situation whose solution can begin only with good-faith bargaining. 

The lockout needs to end now.

Sincerely,

Rick Levy, President                  

Montserrat Garibay, Secretary-Treasurer