Day 84 on strike against Belshaw

Strikers at Belshaw Brothers on the strike line in Auburn.

Strikers at Belshaw Brothers on the strike line in Auburn.

July 18, 2013 was day 84 on the picket line at Belshaw-Adamatic. Members of Machinists Local 79 laid down their tools in March and have picketed outside the Auburn bakery-equipment manufacturing plant ever since. Management wants steep concessions on pensions, healthcare benefits and outsourcing. In return, workers are being offered a miserly bonus. Belshaw boss Roger Faw also wants the right to permanently replace about half the work force with scabs. As one veteran Belshaw worker (now retired) said, folks on the shop floor want to be treated with respect. Instead, they are served up with abuse and belittlement by Faw.

But the strikers are standing strong. They unanimously rejected a contract offer that would enable Belshaw to retain replacement workers and bring strikers back on an “as needed” basis. Yesterday, Machinists held a solidarity rally to let Belshaw know they intend to hold the line for as long as it takes to win a fair contract — including bringing all the workers back. They were joined by SPEEA, Steelworkers, IAM 751, ATU, Teamsters, OWLS, Retirees, MLKC Labor Council, UFCW, and more.

This is a clear union busting attempt on the part of Belshaw-Adamatic. For years the company has served up profits to its owners because the work force is so highly productive and skilled. Now, in a tough climate for labor contracts, the bosses want to wring concessions from their dedicated workforce. Help these Machinists hold the line “one day longer, one day stronger.” Pickets are running Monday through Friday, 6am-5pm in Auburn, at 814 44th St. NW (Google has easy instructions). On Saturdays, the picket runs from 12 noon to 2pm. And be sure to call Belshaw at 206-322-5474. Let Roger know that donuts and scabs don’t mix!


OWLS joins Belshaw strikers on the line in Auburn.

Strikers at Belshaw Brothers on the line in Auburn.

If you’ve ever eaten a donut from Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’ Donuts, Costco, or Walmart, chances are the machinery that made the donut came from Belshaw Brothers. Located in Auburn, Washington Belshaw Adamatic employs 62 members of Machinists Local 79. They have been on strike since March and are fighting for the future of their union.

Belshaw-Adamatic wants huge concessions from its dedicated workforce. Takeaways include $4.65/hour in pensions (the company wants workers to pay this, rather than the company), and higher costs for healthcare. In return, workers will get a 4 percent pay raise over 4years. Long story short, while a 35-year veteran might make around $21 an hour now, they would make only about $15 an hour if Belshaw gets its concessions. Another big issue is outsourcing of work.

In its latest unionbusting move, the company is saying it wants to permanently replace about half the workforce with strike-breakers it has brought in. The good news is that the majority of strikers are standing their ground. Their slogan is “62 out, 62 in.” Right on!

Join their picket line Monday through Friday. And on Tuesday, June 18, Machinists Local 79 will host a solidarity rally and barbecue at the strike line from 9am-4pm. The rally is at the strike line at the Belshaw Brothers factory, 814 44th St., NW, Auburn, WA.

Let’s send a message to the bosses that donuts and union busting don’t mix!