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Workers Protest Lockout At Dow Chemical Plant In Deer Park

The company sent workers home after labor negotiations yielded no results.

Workers have been silently picketing outside the Dow chemical facility on Tidal Road in Deer Park since Monday, when the company locked out about 240 workers without pay or benefits.

The lockout comes after nine weeks of negotiations with the United Steelworkers union (USW), with neither party budging on their demands.

“The company has saw it fit to lock out its hard-working employees in an effort to get them to agree to a less than fair and equitable contract,” Ben Lilienfeld, sub-district director for the union, told News 88.7.

He said management needs to address understaffing and overtime at the facility as well as arbitration.

In a statement to News 88.7, Dow said it’s offered to spread overtime more evenly and is proposing a competitive wage increase.

Lilienfeld said union members twice rejected the company’s offers, by 96% and 98% respectively.

“And apparently the company doesn’t seem to want to listen to that, that their employees have said that it’s not fair, that this is not an equitable agreement,” he said.

In its statement, Dow said it has made USW an offer to return to the negotiating table. Lilienfeld said they will talk to them about possible dates.

The plant continues to operate with a reduced staff. Dow said it’s running safely and meeting production targets.

The facility mainly produces the building blocks of acrylic acid and methyl methacrylate, which are used for things such as paints, detergents, adhesives and personal care products.

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Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters and the Houston Press Club. Florian is a native of Germany. His studies...

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