Teamsters begin picket at Thorn Creek Basin facility

2013-03-11T19:15:00Z 2013-03-11T23:08:27Z Teamsters begin picket at Thorn Creek Basin facilityGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 11, 2013 7:15 pm  • 

CHICAGO HEIGHTS | About a dozen Teamsters Local 705 members began pickets Monday at the Thorn Creek Basin Sanitary District facility in frustration with the current negotiations for a new contract.

Workers began their picket shortly after 2 p.m. Monday, with Teamsters Local 705 contract administrator Neil Messino saying they will continue every day all day until progress is made toward a labor deal.

When talks will resume is questionable, because officials have not been talking for quite some time.

District officials have said the two sides are stuck on issues related to wages and health insurance premium contributions, but Messino said the union has filed an unfair labor practices charge against Thorn Creek officials, saying they have refused to bargain in good faith with the union.

District officials have said that nonunion employees at the facility located at 700 West End Ave. outnumber those employees who are part of the Teamsters Local 705, and they believe the nonunion employees can keep the facility running.

“We are able to continue operating even with a strike taking place,” said Thorn Creek Executive Director Jennifer Hindel. “We expect to keep operating.” Hindel would not comment on the unfair labor practices charge.

Thorn Creek is a wastewater treatment provider for south suburban businesses, along with about 100,000 residents in Chicago Heights, Crete, Homewood, Park Forest, South Chicago Heights and Steger.

Union officials had submitted an intent-to-strike notice early last week, but kept their members on the job until Monday afternoon.

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