ADHESIVES manufacturer Henkel is spending millions of dollars to draft in scabs to break a walkout at a deadly plant in the US, striking workers have alleged.
Over 80 members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) at the Pittsburg, California, factory have been on strike over health and safety concerns since mid-October.
The IAM global federation IndustriAll said yesterday that Henkel has drafted in non-union labour “through strike-breaking company Strom Engineering” in a bid “to destroy the union.”
“Reportedly Henkel is now spending millions of dollars on these temporary replacement workers,” IndustriAll said.
In 2013, 26-year-old temporary worker David Eleidjian was crushed to death by a chemical mixing machine. Since then, Henkel has been repeatedly investigated and penalised by health and safety inspectors.
Several workers have suffered severe steam burns over the past six months because of a lack of maintenance. One worker suffered burns to over 30 per cent of his body.
Trade unionists in Europe, where Henkel workers are well organised, have sent messages of support. “The use of scabs is unacceptable and we express our solidarity with the machinists,” said Michael Mersmann of German union IG BCE.