The fate of around 200 employees of
Shreveport's Libbey Glass plant could be sealed Wednesday when the company's management meets
with United Steelworkers Representative J. David Broussard.
When Broussard met with company officials
last week, he said he believed he was going into "effects bargaining," meaning
he would ask for some sort of severance package for the employees being laid
off. Instead, he said the company called it "decision bargaining," and asked
him to make a proposal that would save the company $7 million per year.
But Broussard said he is not authorized to
make such a proposal, and believes it was a way for the company to blame the
union for the layoffs. Instead, he gave the company a proposal for two weeks
pay for each year of employment, six months of health care and an "early out"
option for people nearing retirement.
It is that proposal that will be on the table at the Wednesday meeting, he said. He added that because the contract the USW has with Libbey has a "no strike" clause, employees don't really have a lot of leverage.
The actual number of layoffs will be for 160 to 175 hourly workers and 30 salaried workers. There are currently 525 hourly workers and 108 salaried workers at the plant.