Aurora orders picketing union workers at Rotek to remove two of three roadside shelters

By Mike Lesko | Aurora Advocate Published:

United Steelworkers Local 8565 members who have been picketing in front of Rotek in Aurora for nearly 11 months have been told by the city to remove two of their three wooden roadside shelters.

The northern-most shelter at the facility on S.R. 43 was removed Nov. 5, according to Bill Hyslop, president of Local 8565. He said the union will take down a second shelter in the next couple weeks, although it has not been determined which one.

"We're going to comply," he said. "We're going to try to get (the second one) down in the next couple weeks."

Hyslop said the union's lawyer was contacted by Alan Shorr, the city's law director.

Shorr said he has been "in discussion with the legal counsel for (picketing) union members regarding the appearance of the outside of the facility." He declined further comment.

A meeting with Rotek officials regarding salaries and health insurance is scheduled for Friday. "We're still trying to work toward a resolution," Hyslop said.

He called the order to remove the shelters "a Grinch-type of thing."

"We don't know why they want to kick us when we're down. It's the holiday season," he said.

"How do you stand out there without the shelters in the snow, rain and storms?" he said. "We've already had a couple of (union members with) strokes. Some have heart conditions, and a couple of guys have pneumonia. I don't understand why they want to subject our people to further stress."

Kellie Harris, director of media and communications for ThyssenKrupp of North America, parent firm of Rotek, said, "Rotek appreciates the city's concern for the safety of passing motorists, and employees who are entering and leaving the facility, as well as its other visitors and the striking workers.

"We also are concerned about the impact this strike has had on families and the community," Harris said. "We remain hopeful we can reach a solution to resolve this issue when we meet Dec. 13. We intend to bargain in good faith, and we hope the union has the same mindset."

Hyslop said union members were told they can keep the barrels where fires are lit and also can keep some fire wood at the other two shelters as long as someone is there.

Hyslop also said the city wants to restrict the union's number of signs. Previously, five or six signs were permitted at each of the three shelter locations, he said, but that number is being reduced to four signs at the one shelter.

"I don't understand why they're attacking us," said Hyslop. "There are bus shelters that people can go into in front of businesses and houses. So why are our shelters offensive?"

The union has picketed at the site since Jan. 18.

Harris said in May the union rejected a settlement offer, and Rotek began the process of hiring replacement workers.

A hearing officer from the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services' Office of Unemployment Compensation has ruled that workers had been locked out and are eligible for benefits. The company has appealed the decision.

Hyslop said Rotek makes aluminum gun turret bearings for Hummers.

Email: mlesko@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187

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  • The biggest issue is that the news paper won't put the details of our side in it. They are only interested in the companies side.  The workers are "LOCKED OUT" and that was a ruling made by the courts in Ohio. Rotek has appealed it and LOST every appeal. Rotek is now trying to sue the union, state of Ohio, and unemployment claiming that since it was ruled as a "lock out" that it's illegal.  Rotek wanted a 20-30% pay cut, to be able to change the insurance whenever they wanted for what was cheaper for them no matter what the cost to the employee was,  and to control when the employees took their vacation time.  They claim they have been negoatiating in good faith, which is BS.  The union has a letter stating from Rotek that the contract they proposed in January is their last and final offer, and that letter has a May date.  All of the information on the unemployment hearing is online through the state of Ohio and on the Portage county court docket.

  • When the company offered a three year pay freeze the union countered by asking for a $3000 signing bonus.Insurance for a family cost $80 a week. Max o.o.p is $600 a year. The pay rate ranged from $19 to $26 an hour. It is considered a lockout by Ohio law and yes they receive unemployment.

  • What is the Union's counter to Rotek's demand for concessions? I have never heard what some of the details are on this strike. Or is it a Lockout? What is it? Are these picketers getting unemployment benefits? The Union may gain more sympathy with the public if they reveal some of these details.

     

     

  • anonymous_54702...sounds like one of the current SCABS that think they work there. If you knew anything about the union you would be jealous, but since your ignorance is showing please remember to breath otherwise your stupidity will kill you

  • I think it is HILARIOUS that people can pass judgement, make comments or just be stupid when they do not know the circumstances behind this long ordeal. I challenge any of you making these comments to stop and voice those same opinions to the guys on the line because I can promise you that you won't have the same opinion when you leave. What would you do if you were told to take a 30% pay cut but your insurance were shooting thru the roof? Don't think for a minute that you wouldn't be right there on the line with these guys. Rotek has done these Union members wrong and they know it. This is why the calls to Aurora are being made because they are running out of scare tactics. They know their time is coming to an end. I will continue to support every single one of those guys on the line, if that means providing snacks, meals, beverages or even a simple honk for support.

    Put yourself in their shoes and see how your family would feel if they were locked out of their job. The scabs that are working are just that, scabs. They are make shift workers that will be booted when this is resolved. These guys want to go back to their JOBS, the JOBS that are still theirs but it makes it difficult when the company refuses to negotiate. So before the negative comments filter in, remember that these men have jobs and are trying to hang on to the little bit of benefits that they had.

  • Dear "anonymous" first off what is manufaturing? Never heard the term. Must be A walmart worker term. Apptarently since you are so insistant that these "lazy" union members just take the huge losses imposed by the company while management gets bonuses you must be used to being A sheep. Just think, if you were making A decent wage maybe you could afford to learn how to spell?? If you gi hasve an inch they will take A mile! Rotek has full intentions of attempting to break the union. They underestimated the solidarity of these workers fighting for A fair proposal. Rotek has stated they are not financially in need of these cuts. "Re-structuring" is the term used by the company. Hiring more salary and giving thense

  • These lazy union schlocks need to get back to work! Even a **** duck knows when to get out of the rain. Everyones health care costs are rising and the econmy sucks.. These union dummies think they are special I guess. It is thier kind of entitlement BS that has lowered american product quality and driven manufaturing out of Ohio.. The day of the union being good for workers has long passed. Now they just suck the life and money out of thier members to keep the union leadership fat and happy. Clean up your garbage and get back to work. I wouldnt want that crap in my town either..

  • Regardless of whether or not they are dressed appropriately for the weather, they are stupid for standing outside in bad conditions if they have pneumonia, a heart condition or a stroke. One's life and health should be more important than trying to take a stand. Also, I'm wondering why they want to go back to work somewhere that they are not wanted. If I went to work and the doors were locked I would ask to go in and get my tools and then I would be on my way, looking for a new job.

    It's funny that thewife is called thewife. Like she doesn't have her own identity. If they have been standing outside for 11 months and nothing has happened so far, then why do they continue to stand out there? Are they going to be like the people who stand in front of Marcs on 59 in Ravenna? I feel like they have been there since the 80's.

    @proudunionmember: Don't start talking trash about white collar workers. Preface: I am a machinist. (blue collar worker) People choose the path they take in life by making certain, sometimes critical decisions along they way. I chose to go to college, party a lot, flunk out and become a machinist. And I'm happy about that. Not everyone can have a white collar job and not everyone can have a blue collar job. This country needs both and we, as individuals, choose what that will be.

     

     

     

  • little_r_republican..... "Not to smart if they dont dress appropriately for the weather:  REALLY??!?  They wear layer upon layer of clothing.... I would LOVE to see you stand out there for 4 to 8 hours like these guys do!  They stand out there rain, snow, sleet, or shine... If you all take a step back and remember 11 months ago when they were FORCED out of Rotek, that's right.... forced out... they showed up for work that day to WORK.... not to be told to leave.. These men are standing up for their jobs and want to go back to work,  Rotek has had multiple oppurtunities to negotiate with union and have not given the men any reason to come back in.  They want to take, take, take... and wont give ANYTHING!  NOTHING!  The men that are out there, will continue to be out there until Rotek learns the word "negotiation".  As for me, While my husband stands outside and fights for what he deserves.... I will do nothing but support them and be their biggest advocate.  At the end of this when the scabs are fired, and thoes men go back inside to work..... justice will be served and all the time they spent outside WILL be worth it!  Stand strong men..... you have alot of people standing strong you! 

  • "How do you stand out there without the shelters in the snow, rain and storms?" he said. "We've already had a couple of (union members with) strokes. Some have heart conditions, and a couple of guys have pneumonia. I don't understand why they want to subject our people to further stress.""

    Not to smart if they don't dress appropriately for the weather.

  • I would like to ask why the citizens of aurora are so worried about shanties when the should be worried about not having enough salt for the roads to get through the winter instead of trying to put down union members standing up for what they believe in or maybe the fact that those same union members taxes from their paychecks give the city almost 120 million dollars a year in revenue or that Rotek only hired half of the agreed upon number o new employees in their tax abatement contract with the city which if they had hired all of them it would have given the city upwards of 100 million more but instead they laid off more than they hired and stole Monet from the city that way and again this is not a strike this is a company enforced lockout not a strike maybe if the record courier could do some actual reporting they could stop printing Kelli Harris's lie as fact and the people o aurora need to understand that the proud union members of Rotek and local 8565 risk life and limb on a daily basis at work at Rotek so anytime any of you would like to cget out of your cushy office job or comfy desk chair and put in a hard honest days work you would understand why we stand for what believe in a stand for your rights as well as our own and do this also to provide for our families thanks proud union member

  • I would like to ask why the citizens of aurora are so worried about shanties when the should be worried about not having enough salt for the roads to get through the winter instead of trying to put down union members standing up for what they believe in or maybe the fact that those same union members taxes from their paychecks give the city almost 120 million dollars a year in revenue or that Rotek only hired half of the agreed upon number o new employees in their tax abatement contract with the city which if they had hired all of them it would have given the city upwards of 100 million more but instead they laid off more than they hired and stole Monet from the city that way and again this is not a strike this is a company enforced lockout not a strike maybe if the record courier could do some actual reporting they could stop printing Kelli Harris's lie as fact and the people o aurora need to understand that the proud union members of Rotek and local 8565 risk life and limb on a daily basis at work at Rotek so anytime any of you would like to cget out of your cushy office job or comfy desk chair and put in a hard honest days work you would understand why we stand for what believe in a stand for your rights as well as our own and do this also to provide for our families thanks proud union member

  • I would like to ask how the city why is the city of aurora so worried about shanty's when they Dont have enough salt for the roads to last the winter how about you people shouwinter or how about that our taxes from Rotek working employees give the city almost 120 million dollars. Year and it would be more If Rotek had actually hired the agreed upon number of new employees in their tax abatement contract with the city instead they hire half of the agreed upon number and then laid them off only a year later that would give the city of aurora almost a 100 million more a year but instead you guys would like to whine and complain about mens standing up for what they believe in and trying to support their families what john q public doesn't know is that union members at Rotek work a dangerous job with risk to life and limb on any given day maybe if some aurora residents can climb out of their office chairs and cushy white collar jobs and actually work an honest hard days work they would know why we fight so hard for what we believe in and again the union is no on strike it is a company enforced lockout maybe if the record courier would stop taking lies from Kelli Harris if Rotek as fact and did some actual reporting they could stop printing her lies

  • I wonder what size donation Rotek gave the city this time?  Back before the elections there was a 40k donation to the city in Roteks name and then all of a sudden the Port-a-jon was gone.  It amazes me that a city that depends on so much tax revenue from the striking workers will support a company that they gave a 15 year tax abatement to and that company has yet to met the criteria of that abatement.  I personally would like to see WHERE  in the city of Aurora laws that it's illegal to have a shanty at each entrance or it seems that the out going mayor is being bought off and making things up as he goes.  I hope now that any union member that gets sick or any mediacal problems can now sue the city and Rotek since Aurora is now just like the U.S. governement and trampling our rights as American citizens.  I'm sure there are complaints that it looks bad, problem is all the upper management from Rotek live in Aurora and would be the calls to the mayors office to complain about it.  If the record courier would ever do their job and actually do some research they would find that Rotek has NOT been negotiating in good faith and I have proof of that.. Just ask the national labor board, court systems and any locked out worker (since they are not on strike) for the papers that Rotek sends them.  

  • ThyssenKrupp of North America aka Rotek are nothing but greedy corporate America trying to put more profits in their picket and push their employees into poverty.

    The City of Aurora is wrong for what they are doing and I would not be surprised if Rotek had something to so with it.

    I have driven past those shelters dozens of times, and I have never found them offensive, just Americans fighting for their jobs, and I support them fully.

    Government is supposed to be of the people , by the people, and for the people, but what we are seeing here is a blatant disrespect for people and thier civil rights!

    This country was made great by the unions fighting for workers to keep them from being opressed like in other countries, and we need to support these locked out demonstrating union workers and send greedy corporate America a message: We stand behind the principals that made this country the most powerful on earth. We shall not EVER relinquish our inalienable rights! BOOO to the City of Aurora, and BOOOO to Rotek!!!!!!!!!!