In Superman’s hometown, union workers locked out

Metropolis, IL, isn’t just Superman’s hometown. The city is also home to America’s only uranium conversion plant. The uranium plant may not be as glamorous as Superman, but this week it caught the attention of The New York Times.

Why? Because 68 workers from the plant are known to have come down with cancer—and 42 of those 68 have died. Worse still is that, despite those numbers, the plant isn’t taking action to care for its employees. In fact, the plant’s operator wants to slash pensions for newly hired workers and reduce health benefits for retirees.

Union workers at the plant aren’t asking for much. In the words of Darrell Lillie, president of United Steelworkers Local 7-669,

We deal with hydrofluoric acid. We make fluorine. This is bad stuff. The least we feel like we could have is good medical benefits when we retire.

The plant’s 220 union workers have been locked out since June 28. If there’s one thing that’s kryptonite for a hard-working city like Metropolis, it’s employers who shirk their responsibility to their employees and to the community.

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 13th, 2010 at 5:37 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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