NEW YORK — Taking a new tack in its dispute with management, the Amalgamated Clothing & Textile Workers Union said Tuesday it has made an offer for a return to work of about 700 members locked out at 11 New Jersey dyeing and finishing plants.
The union said it would send its workers back under terms proposed by management in September during contract negotiations and then the talks for a new pact would be resumed. Ten of the plants are being represented by CP Associates — a management group — while one firm, Poughkeepsie Finishing, is independent.
As reported, the plants rejected a contract proposal by State Labor Commissioner Raymond Bramucci, shutting their doors on the union workers. On Dec. 15, the union voted to accept the new pact, ending a 54-day strike and sending 700 other workers back to work at 10 other facilities. While the two sides have met several times over the past three weeks, and have eased demands, they remain at an impasse over the issue of replacement workers hired during the lockout. No further negotiations have been scheduled.
“The employers have chosen to reject peace in the industry by insisting on keeping their ‘permanent replacements’ and by rejecting the settlement proposed by Commissioner Bramucci,” said John Hudson, ACTWU vice president and chief negotiator. “We will continue to use every means at our disposal to win a fair, new contract. For now, we believe the best place to carry our struggle is inside the workplace.”
Bruce McMoran, counsel for CP Associates, said the plants will “take back those people for whom we have openings.”
Others, he said, will be put on a “recall list.”
McMoran said it was too early to determine when and how many would be returning. He did say, however, “We should know pretty soon.”