Union members locked out of Lebanon auto parts factory

Photo: Tom Nartker Fox19
Photo: Tom Nartker Fox19
Saturday night workers picketed outside the building.
Saturday night workers picketed outside the building.

SOUTH LEBANON, OH (FOX19) - United Auto Worker union members were locked out and escorted off the job on Saturday from the South Lebanon auto parts mandating plant where they work.

Members of Local 2387 say they were caught completely off guard when HTAN's management told them to leave the property. The union has been in contract negotiations with the company since May but the local's Chairman, Darren Woods, says earlier this week those talks apparently broke down.

"We were still trying to negotiate with the company. Apparently they didn't want to go through any further negotiations with us and locked the doors today," says Woods.

Woods says those negotiations stalled earlier this week.

"They pretty much said this is their last proposal. We told them that we needed to discuss more things. There was more things on the table that we needed to discuss and come to tentative agreements with and apparently they've refused to do that."

In our commitment to balanced news, FOX19 tried to get HTNA's side of the story but the company has not responded to repeated requests for comment.

Meanwhile, extra security guards have been brought in to keep workers off the property and school buses are blocking the entrances. It's something Vickie Thompson says she has never seen in her 24 years at the plant.

"I'm one whose taken up for the company and said they've always been fair to us. I mean this is our livelihood," says Thompson. "I'm raising my grandkids. My daughter died in 2011 and I have custody of my grandkids so I got little kids I'm taking care of."

The local's President, Charlene Peyton, says she's also worried about her financial security.

"Oh I was scared, you know, because like everybody else we have bills we got to pay, we
got food, you know, just regular bills like everybody else. The first thing through my mind is how people are going to be hurting," says Peyton.

Tina Stamm says the lockout could have a serious impact on her family's finances.

"Me and my husband both work there so this is a household income-type effect. You put 25 years into a plant. I've been there for 25 years. Can't just, just can't imagine Monday morning not going to work."

On Sunday night, workers went to the plant with signs in hand and planned to picket outside the building.

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