MASSENA, N.Y. (WWNY) - St. Lawrence Seaway workers picketed in Massena Wednesday to let the public know their plight. They’ve been without a contract and without raises for 2 years.
There are 94 of them in the union who work at the Eisenhower and Snell Locks. They say the Seaway Development Corporation also wants to pay new employees less and take away dental benefits.
They say it’s politics.
“With this Trump Administration, they’ve taken a lot of our bargaining unit rights away: official time, attempting to remove us from our office after 65 years at Eisenhower Lock, and to remove the grievance procedure as well,” said Frederick Carter Jr., AFGE Local 1968 president. “This is about showing the agency the solidarity of the bargaining unit and the community that stands with us for a fair wage and cost-of-living for the men and women that put the ships through the system.”
In a statement, the Seaway Development Corporation said: “We respect the right of the American Federation of Government Employees Local No. 1968 to conduct an informational picket and to speak as the exclusive representative for the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation’s bargaining unit membership. While the negotiations process takes time, we have bargained in good faith with AFGE Local No. 1968 throughout this process. The parties have a key legal issue pending before a neutral third party arbitrator, and once that is resolved, the parties can continue to work toward a fair agreement.”
An impasse was reached in contract negotiations last year.