230 employees are locked out of Deer Park chemical plant

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Photo by John Everett/Center for Public Integrity

A local contract dispute between management and workers at an east Harris County chemical plant has led to an employee lockout, and local labor leaders are organizing efforts to help the displaced workers.

As the Houston Chronicle reported, on April 22, chemical company Rohm and Haas Texas, a subsidiary of Dow Chemical, locked out more than 200 of its employees of its Deer Park facility after more than two months of contract negotiations broke down between the company and United Steelworkers Local 13-1.

In response, other local union and community leaders are working to collect donations of food, baby products, and other necessities to assist these workers and their families, many with young children, to get by until the dispute is resolved.

They’ve created a website – USWdeerparkRelief.com – where those who want to help can learn where to drop off donated items or make a financial contribution.

“These workers don’t want to be out of a job,” Steve Flores, president of the Communication Workers of America Local 6222, told The Texas Signal. “They want to negotiate with the company and meet them halfway.”

As the Chronicle reported, the approximately 230 locked out workers cannot return to work until either the company ends the lockout or the parties resolve their dispute.

“These are young families with kids, who need diapers and formula,” Flores added. “We just want to help them.”

The Texas Signal has partnered with the Texas Justice Center on a donation drive for affected families.

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