Members of Carpenters Local 2086 are on strike at Georgia Pacific’s facility in Taylorsville over scheduling issues. (Photo source: Felicia Keyes)
Taylorsville, MS (WDAM) –
Members of Carpenters Local 2086 are on strike at Georgia Pacific’s facility in Taylorsville over scheduling issues, according to union representative Marcus McLaurin.
The workers started striking at 11 p.m. Wednesday following 12 months of negotiations regarding scheduling, McLaurin said.
“Employees can’t schedule vacations or know when they are off. It’s just unfair,” said McLaurin.
"We don’t know when we will see our family. We can’t go on vacations, because we don’t know our schedules. They can call you in and off vacations. We can’t live like that," said Carpenters Local 2086 Vice President James Keys.
The workers continued to picket through Thursday’s rain showers. McLaurin said the workers plan to continue until an agreement is reached.
“All we ask is for them to give us something in writing say they won’t work us like that. They say this is supposed to have work-life balance, but there is no balance, because all we do is work,” said Georgia Pacific employee Anita Booth.
According to Rick Kimble, Senior Manager of Public Affairs for Georgia Pacific, the company has been negotiating for "a more flexible work schedule that is more equitable to all the employees."
"All the employees," Kimble said. "Not just the employees who work on the day or the night shift…all the employees at the site.”
Kimble said while there have been talks surrounding scheduling, the company also has to keep its bottom line in mind.
“We are trying to keep that site competitive. The product that facility makes goes all over the United States, and we compete with facilities all over the world. It is our goal to always maintain an equitable quality of life for our employees while keeping the plant competitive, so we can keep them employed,” said Kimble.
Kimble said to his knowledge, Georgia Pacific has made its last effort to negotiate the issues at hand.
"We have been negotiating this for a long time. You get to a point when you basically have done everything you can, and you present your last and best offer which what we’ve done."