170610_BJ_johnson controls

Employees of Johnson Controls in Albany, Missouri, went on strike Tuesday morning after employees couldn’t come to an agreement on their contract with the company.

The contract expired March 31 and employees and the company had been negotiating through March but were unable to come to an agreement that employees would accept, causing them to go on strike. About 130 of the 160 employees at the location are on strike. 

Greg Chastain, the business manager at Sheet Metal Workers Local 2, said members had a ratification vote on the company proposal on May 15 and it was overwhelmingly defeated.

“There’s no hazard pay, they’ve worked every single day of this pandemic as essential workers and they’ve received no hazard pay and have received very little support as far as any PPE to protect the health of them and their families,” Chastain said.

Chastain said the company recently started providing personal protective equipment last week.

“For the last four years the concern has been about the working conditions as far as required overtime and the nonflexible attendance policy that the company institutes,” Chastain said.

Chastain said Johnson Controls employees will be on strike until they receive an agreement or receive something from the company to show progress in negotiations.

“The workers are looking for some relief on flexible hours so they can start working to make a living instead of living to work,” Chastain said.

The last time Chastain heard from the company was May 15 after it rejected the employees’ most recent proposal.

Johnson Controls released a statement to News-Press NOW.

”Johnson Controls has provided the union with an offer that is competitive and provides an opportunity for continued success for all,” the statement said. “We will continue to stand ready to reach an agreement that is in the best interests of our employees, our company and our customers. In the meantime, the plant remains open and we remain committed to providing the products our customers have come to expect.”

Bailey Ketcham can be reached at bailey.ketcham@newspressnow.com.