NAR SEEKS STRIKER REPLACEMENTS

Byline: Steve Seay

ELIZABETHTON, Tenn.--The week-long strike at employee-owned North American Rayon Corp. continued Monday with management placing ads in local newspapers seeking help to replace striking workers.
Negotiations broke off Sept. 30, when the United Textile Workers of America's three-year contract expired. The union subsequently voted to strike, and walked out last Tuesday.
Employees are seeking to protect seniority rights and prevent compulsory overtime. NAR had proposed a three-year contract with 17-cent increases during the first and third years and a $300 bonus during the second year. NAR said the last contract offered was the company's "highest, final and best" offer. The rayon producer has obtained a court order restraining the UTWA to 10 pickets at least 50 feet away from the plant gate. The 1,500-employee NAR complex consists of a large unionized rayon plant with about 900 current union members and about 50 members of a clerical union--all of whom are on strike. A smaller adjoining nonunion polyester facility of around 100 workers is not on strike.
In addition, 200 employees are eligible to become members of the union, but the union said it was not known how many, if any, were on strike.
About 1,400 employees share in the ownership of the company.
NAR management says that altogether, about 350 people have been working at the two plants during the strike.
However, the UTWA says it has not interfered with the 100 nonunion polyester workers and the remainder of those working consist of managers and their clerical staff.
While NAR tries to service its major customers, it said it is likely to lose some of its base and its clients could be forced to lay off employees due to a lack of fiber supply.
NAR produces rayon filament yarns and polyester staple, primarily for industrial uses.
--Fairchild News Service

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