WIPP Employees Seek OCAW Representation
Source D. Ohmans
Date 99/05/01/21:48

/* Written 4:35 PM Jun 9, 1998 by in igc:labr.all */
/* ---------- "Westinghouse WIPP Seeks OCAW" ---------- */
Waste Isolation Pilot Project Employees Seek Oil, Chemical & Atomic Workers
Union Representation
10:17 a.m. Jun 08, 1998 Eastern

CARLSBAD, N.M., June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Hourly employees of Westinghouse at
the Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP)
recently joined together to form a union through the Oil, Chemical and
Atomic Workers International Union (OCAW). We
want the general public to know why we felt we needed to form a union.

Our employer, Westinghouse Corporation (WELCO/WID), is being sold. When we
asked what was to happen to our jobs,
incomes and benefits, we were given no guarantee that they would continue in
their present form. We decided to ask
OCAW to help us form a local union and assist us in negotiating a labor
agreement that will provide contractual
guarantees of job, income and benefit security regardless of which employer
operates the facility. After all, everyone else
who does business at WIPP has a contract; we should have one too.

"In fact, we think it is even more important to our community and state that
we have a contract because we are an
integral part of the community," said organizing committee member Beverly

"Our jobs, income and benefits enable us to raise and educate our children
and keep them healthy in Carlsbad, and
beyond that, many employees are looking toward retiring with dignity here,"
she added. "Management and Operations
contractors come and go; we are here to stay."

More than 140 hourly workers presently work at WIPP, a nuclear waste
repository 26 miles southeast of Carlsbad.
Although a wage increase is not a driving issue for our campaign, we are
aware that general wage levels are below the
atomic industry averages. Beyond job, income and benefit security, the other
key issue is pay equity. There are numerous
examples of employees doing the same job, but receiving vastly different pay.

We have concluded that resolving such matters to our satisfaction -- but
especially achieving job, income and benefit
security -- will require us to join together with each other and with the
over 5,000 employees throughout the atomic
industry who compose the OCAW Atomic Council. They have successfully dealt
with corporate contractors at Department
of Energy atomic facilities for over 50 years, and they have the collective
bargaining record and contracts to prove it. We
have learned that the OCAW Atomic Council is the leader in setting labor
standards for the industry. We are convinced
that organizing our union with OCAW is absolutely necessary regardless of
who our employer is. SOURCE Oil, Chemical &
Atomic Workers International Union, AFL-CIO

Copyright 1998, PR Newswire


Beverly Watson, Hourly Employee, 505-236-6670, or Roger
Simmons, Hourly Employee, 505-885-0032, both of the Waste Isolation Pilot
Project; or Wayne Horman, Organizer of the Oil, Chemical & Atomic Workers
International Union, AFL-CIO, 505-885-8414

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