Workers picket plants of Murrysville-based Cleveland Brothers
By Daveen Rae Kurutz
Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
About 275 striking employees of Cleveland Brothers are picketing eight of the machinery company's western Pennsylvania plants and saying the Murrysville-based company has engaged in unfair labor practices.
After nearly two months of negotiations, members of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 66, a Pittsburgh-based union, authorized a strike last week, said Josh Bloom, attorney for the union. Union members have filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board that says Cleveland Brothers officials were negotiating directly with employees, Bloom said.
On its website, the union states, “After unsuccessfully trying to get the union bargaining committee to agree to give up their pension, we believe the company engaged in unlawful activity to coerce our brothers and sisters to agree to this drastic and unacceptable concession.”
Carl Tinkham, director of marketing for Cleveland Brothers, said the accusation is untrue. Tinkham said the two sides have been bargaining “in good faith” for two months and have reached an agreement on all but one issue — pension benefits for retirees.
A three-year contract with the laborers expired June 30, Tinkham said.
“We're still open to resolving this issue,” Tinkham said.
The strike affects eight Cleveland Brothers locations — Murrysville, New Stanton, Blawnox, Cranberry, Somerset, Lantz Corner, Clearfield and Erie. Employees at the other 18 company locations in central and eastern Pennsylvania and West Virginia are not striking.
Bloom said company officials said they can not negotiate again until Friday. Picketers could be seen from Route 22 throughout the week. Bloom said employees plan to picket 24/7 until an agreement is met.
Cleveland Brothers, formed in 1948, sells Caterpillar heavy equipment and parts and also provides service for and rentals of the units. According to federal records, the company received 433 federal contracts totaling nearly $8.6 million, predominantly from the Department of Defense, between 2008 and 2012.
Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- No contamination reported after small spill at Beaver Run Reservoir
- 10 Franklin Regional teachers submit retirement papers
- Seismic testing begins in Murrysville
- School closures have exceeded Franklin Regional’s built-in ‘snow days’
- Freeze-thaw cycle wreaks havoc on Murrysville-area roads, cars