Brown Urges Teamsters and International Fiber to Pursue Federal Mediation Services

Workers Have Been Locked Out Since May 3 After Negotiations Stalled

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) urged the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 957 and International Fiber Corp. to take advantage of federal mediation services to help resolve the dispute that led to the  lockout of more than 90 workers at the company’s Urbana facility. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) is an independent agency that provides conflict resolution, mediation, and arbitration services to industry, labor unions, government entities, and local communities.  

“FMCS involvement could help lead to an agreement that benefits the company, the union, the workers, and the entire Urbana community,” Brown said. “During these difficult economic times it is imperative that companies and their employees work together to reach compromises that produce mutually beneficial outcomes."

Earlier this month, Brown sent a letter to Chief Executive Officer Daniel Muth, calling on International Fiber to resume negotiations with workers who are seeking fair and equitable wages, benefits, and job security. International Fiber’s most recent collective bargaining agreement with the workers expired on Feb. 12 and because an agreement was not reached, the company imposed a lockout on May 3. 

Full text of the letter is below.

June 14, 2011

 

 Daniel Muth

Chief Executive Officer

International Fiber Corp.

 50 Bridge Street

North Tonawanda, New York 14120

 

Varney Richmond

President

International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 957

P.O. Box 13357  

Dayton, Ohio 45413

 

 Dear Mr. Muth and Mr. Richmond:

 

 I write out of concern for the workers at International Fiber Corporation in Urbana, Ohio, who have been locked out of their jobs since May 3, 2011.  It is my understanding that the company and the union have yet to reach an agreement that would allow for these hard-working Ohioans to return to their jobs. 

 

During these difficult economic times it is imperative that companies and their employees work together to reach compromises that produce mutually beneficial outcomes. An agreement between the union and the company will not only benefit the workers and their families, but also the community at large.  With this in mind, I encourage both International Fiber Corporation and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to take advantage of the services provided by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS).

 

The FMCS is an independent agency that provides conflict resolution, mediation, and arbitration services to industry, labor unions, government entities, and local communities.   FMCS representatives are called upon by many to address difficult situations and help conflicting parties reach a resolution to their disputes. It is my hope that FMCS involvement could help lead to an agreement that benefits the company, the union, the workers, and the entire Urbana community.    

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance in this matter.  It is my hope that the employees will soon be able to return to the jobs that they have performed so well, for so many years. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Sherrod Brown

United States Senator

 

Cc: Jack Buettner, Director of Field Operations, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services

 

 

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