Some employees at RJF International Corporation's plant in Oak Grove headed back to work Sunday evening, ending a strike that began Dec. 23 when the five-year contract for members of the International Chemical Workers Union Council (ICWUC) of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local 343C expired.
The strike coincided with an annually scheduled plant shutdown Dec. 24 to 28.
Sunday afternoon, the ICWUC ratified a contract, and full start up will resume as scheduled on Jan. 2, said Terry Lardakis, an attorney from the Cleveland office of Atlanta-based Fisher & Phillips, the law firm that represents RJF.
"It was a very difficult situation to enhance the competitive position of this facility and yet balance that with the least amount of financial impact on the employees," said Lardakis.
Ted DeLoach, international representative for Akron-based ICWUC, confirmed a new contact had been ratified.
"We're happy to have our 150 families back to work and hopefully we can keep them that way," said DeLoach.
Neither DeLoach nor Lardakis would elaborate on the details of the contract.
"The company didn't get everything they wanted and we didn't get everything we wanted. At the same time, we got some things we didn't want and the company got some things they didn't want," said DeLoach.
Like the expired contract, the newly ratified one represents a five-year deal for ICWUC members.
Part of the problem with the contract that failed to pass was language that affected seniority rights.
According to DeLoach, "We got some of that resolved."
RJF, the former fabricated polymers division of B.F. Goodrich, is a manufacturer of decorative, industrial, interior, transit and office products.
The firm is headquartered in Fairlawn, a suburb of Akron.