NORTH NORWICH – A strike at OSG Norwich Pharmaceuticals was avoided Saturday, as solidarity and pressure got the 219 union workers in the company a contract the majority of them could agree upon, local union representatives said.
According to the International Chemical Workers Union’s local president Gary Robbins, the contract passed 174 to 34, with one abstention. The agreement came just hours before negotiations reached the midnight Jan. 21 deadline, and a possible strike.
“We weren’t subjected to any cuts due to corporate greed,” said Robbins, who has been employed at Outsourcing Services Group in North Norwich for 10 years. “It’s because of the tremendous solidarity my people showed – they put the pressure on in bucket loads.”
Robbins said the contract is on par with previously accepted agreements, which expire every three years. He said there will be no pay cuts, which in preliminary discussions were requested by management to be handed down at 15 percent across the board. The contract also capped worker’s rising health care costs at their current rates, and yielded them a signing bonus for the first year of their new contract, with a 3 percent increase in wages over the next two.