Camillus-Cutlery Strike Ends

After six months of picketing in front of Camillus Cutlery, the United Steelworkers came to an agreement with management that will result in major job cuts and wage losses.

Union workers voted 38-8 to accept the company's contract offer, which had been voted down twice before.

Only 15 of the 78 members of the Local 4783 will return to their jobs at the knife making plant. The 15 employees who will return will be paid 10 to 35 percent less than they earned before the strike began in May. Employees will also experience fewer benefits and will have to pay more for their health insurance.

The company will likely import more knives from oversees, will have fewer customers and also faces lawsuits pending against them in Onondaga County Court. The company settled one suit already last week with Cold Steel Inc., a California knife company, one of its largest customers.

Union members were aware that the company planned on moving away from manufacturing to importing knives from oversees. Therefore, the Steelworkers want to apply for federal Trade Adjustment Assistance, which would provide money for training and extended unemployment benefits for workers that lose their jobs due to foreign competition. Ending the strike allows the company to lay off workers so that the union can apply for benefits on their behalf.

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