Kaiser and USWA to Meet Next Week in Chicago for 2 Days

“Kaiser Aluminum has agreed to meet again with the United Steelworkers of America October 14 and 15 in Chicago.The company has said the meeting will include chief negotiators and representatives for both the company and the union.Union sources said the main stumbling block to signing a new contract to end the labor dispute is a contracting out portion of the contract.The labor dispute at Kaiser facilities in Tacoma and the Spokane area, as well as other plants nationwide, began as a strike on October 1, 1998, and became a lockout in January 1999.A customer campaign by the USWA has been focused on the use of aluminum products produced by the temporary workers who have staffed Kaiser facilities during the dispute.The union has charged that the substitute workers are less trained and are turning out possibly inferior product. The campaign has included Kaiser customers such as the Boeing Company and Pepsi.The union has said that more than 450,000 copies of a brochure, “Our Pain, His Gain,” were distributed in the Seattle area as part of the customer campaign. An additional 200,000 pledge cards were said to have been distributed to Pepsi customers who are promising not to drink Pepsi packaged in cans made of Kaiser aluminum.”