87.5 F
Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, August 11, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesICC, STEELWORKERS TAKE WAR TO PRINT NEWSPAPERS

ICC, STEELWORKERS TAKE WAR TO PRINT NEWSPAPERS

Oct. 15, 2002 – The war of words between Innovative Communication Corp. and its striking telephone and cable employees continued through the weekend with a union rebuttal to ICC's full-page ad last week in the territory's two print daily newspapers.
The United Steelworkers Union, which represents the 310 Innovative employees on the picket lines, took out its own space in the papers to assert what it called misrepresentations by ICC "designed to cover up demands for drastic health care cuts and a two-tiered wage scale."
The Steelworkers said ICC is "deliberately deceiving" the public with claims that the union, in past negotiations, voted in favor of higher wage increases rather than increased pension benefits.
"It's a transparent attempt to create a smokescreen to hide the fact that, despite all the money Innovative is raking in, it's demanding to devastate our members' health care coverage and create a second tier of wages 15 percent lower than the current system," the Steelworkers' ad said.
Innovative said that it offered a wage increase of 10 percent over three years and an increase in pension benefits of 3.7 percent, or wage increases of 6 percent over three years and an increase in pension benefits of 7.41 percent, and that the union opted for the cash.
The union called Innovative's statement a falsification. "Innovative is doing enough harm to negotiations by demanding to double the deductibles on our members' health care, without engaging in deceiving double-talk about our commitment to pensions," the ad said.
The Steelworkers took issue with ICC's proposal to double workers' insurance deductibles -– to $200 for workers and $400 for employees' families. They said the company also demands a $200 deductible for workers' prescription drugs and $400 for family drug plans.
Despite the scathing advertisement, ICC spokesman Thomas Dunn said he is looking forward to a resolution when the parties sit down with a federal mediator to discuss their differences on Wednesday.
"Absolutely we're looking forward to a settlement," Dunn said. "We want to get back to work; we want our people to get back to work."
Since the strike began on Oct. 2, vandals have cut thousands of phone lines throughout the territory, affecting businesses, residents and government offices.
Dunn said the Monday holiday passed without incident, and all the violated lines are back in working order. "Right now we're in the process of doing regular repairs."
He said outside contractors were brought in to help pick up the slack with the union workers on strike, but he would not comment on how many or where they are from.
Calls to the Steelworkers Union on both St. Croix and St. Thomas were not returned Tuesday.

Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more
Oct. 15, 2002 – The war of words between Innovative Communication Corp. and its striking telephone and cable employees continued through the weekend with a union rebuttal to ICC's full-page ad last week in the territory's two print daily newspapers.
The United Steelworkers Union, which represents the 310 Innovative employees on the picket lines, took out its own space in the papers to assert what it called misrepresentations by ICC "designed to cover up demands for drastic health care cuts and a two-tiered wage scale."
The Steelworkers said ICC is "deliberately deceiving" the public with claims that the union, in past negotiations, voted in favor of higher wage increases rather than increased pension benefits.
"It's a transparent attempt to create a smokescreen to hide the fact that, despite all the money Innovative is raking in, it's demanding to devastate our members' health care coverage and create a second tier of wages 15 percent lower than the current system," the Steelworkers' ad said.
Innovative said that it offered a wage increase of 10 percent over three years and an increase in pension benefits of 3.7 percent, or wage increases of 6 percent over three years and an increase in pension benefits of 7.41 percent, and that the union opted for the cash.
The union called Innovative's statement a falsification. "Innovative is doing enough harm to negotiations by demanding to double the deductibles on our members' health care, without engaging in deceiving double-talk about our commitment to pensions," the ad said.
The Steelworkers took issue with ICC's proposal to double workers' insurance deductibles -– to $200 for workers and $400 for employees' families. They said the company also demands a $200 deductible for workers' prescription drugs and $400 for family drug plans.
Despite the scathing advertisement, ICC spokesman Thomas Dunn said he is looking forward to a resolution when the parties sit down with a federal mediator to discuss their differences on Wednesday.
"Absolutely we're looking forward to a settlement," Dunn said. "We want to get back to work; we want our people to get back to work."
Since the strike began on Oct. 2, vandals have cut thousands of phone lines throughout the territory, affecting businesses, residents and government offices.
Dunn said the Monday holiday passed without incident, and all the violated lines are back in working order. "Right now we're in the process of doing regular repairs."
He said outside contractors were brought in to help pick up the slack with the union workers on strike, but he would not comment on how many or where they are from.
Calls to the Steelworkers Union on both St. Croix and St. Thomas were not returned Tuesday.

Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much -- and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice ... click here.