Ninth week of striking at Silgan Containers

Union members strike outside of Silgan Containers amid ongoing contract negotiations.

As St. Joseph employees at Silgan Containers spend their ninth week on strike, the company has indicated it plans to move forward with new staffing.

A post on Silgan’s Facebook page said the company intends to advertise the jobs of those striking. The post states that new hires will be considered permanent replacements.

Last week, employees on strike received a last offer in contract negotiations and were told the company would be hiring replacements. John Brindle, union chairman, said they were surprised by the Facebook post nonetheless.

“We’ve got members that have been working here anywhere from two to three years to 45 years, so for them to put a post out like that, you know when they started these negotiations one of their big deals to change our schedule was to be able to hire people because they weren’t able to hire people with the schedule we had. Now they still have the same schedule that we’ve always had and they’re going to try to hire permanent people for 125 jobs,” Brindle said.

He said the last nine weeks are not ending the way striking employees had hoped. All people want to do is work, he said.

“Yeah they’ve got 125 that is ready to go back to work,” Brindle said. “I mean we’re not standing out here for the publicity of it ... we’re standing out here for a good wage and good working conditions and they’re ready to go back to work. Nine weeks of this is a long time to be standing out here on the street.”

Now those employees are beginning to figure out what to do next.

“The conversation out here between members has been that they’ll go find another job before they come back to work for the company. I hate to see that because I’ve got a pretty good workforce here, a lot of good people that’s been here a long time,” Brindle said.

Silgan Containers officials did not respond to News-Press NOW’s request for comment.

Morgan Riddell can be reached at morgan.riddell@newspressnow.com