L-D27’s dispute with Lafarge draws attention at Paris meeting

Local struggles to preserve retiree health care benefits

THE STRUGGLE OF Local D27 members (Independence, Mo.) to keep French-owned Lafarge from cutting retiree health care benefits during collective bargaining reached an international forum in Paris Oct. 3 and 4. Lafarge employs 55 Local D27 members at its Sugar Creek, Mo., cement plant.

Warren Fairley, IVP-Industrial Sector, brought the matter to the attention of the forum, which includes Lafarge, Swiss-owned Holcim, the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine, and General Workers’ Unions (ICEM), and the Building and Wood Workers International Federation (BWI).

The BWI published a report about Local D27’s plight on its Web site. The local also issued a press release (PDF) on the situation.

Lafarge and Local D27 last met in contract talks Oct. 7. The company notified the union Oct. 20 that it will declare an impasse. Employers often follow such declarations with the unilateral implementation of their contract proposal.

Meanwhile, ICEM has requested another meeting with Lafarge in Paris.

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