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Kennametal unionized workers to rally

Staff Writer
Published: 4/26/2019 9:10:31 AM

GREENFIELD — The unionized workers at Kennametal plan to rally in front of the company’s Sanderson Street offices today at 3 p.m.

The employees represented by the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America Local 374 will be out vocalizing their demands to: retain their health insurance package, avoid forced overtime, reduce the potential increase of temporary employees and advocate for fairer wages.

Kennametal is a supplier of tooling and industrial materials. According to its website, the company employs about 10,000 people around the globe and serves customers in more than 60 countries. In fiscal 2018, Kennametal reported sales of nearly $2.4 billion. 

Local 374 authorized the right to strike earlier this month, but its shop steward Jason McGrath said he hopes it doesn’t come to that.

“We’re looking for a fair and just contract here,” McGrath said. “We’re not trying to rake them over the coals or anything.”

McGrath, who has worked at Kennametal on and off since 2000, has been at the bargaining table for now three contracts.

“This is the worst one I’ve seen,” McGrath said.

He said the company, which is based in Pennsylvania, is telling union workers the reason it wants to make the changes is because it is not doing as well financially.

McGrath said the numbers they’ve seen tell a different story.

“We’re up against these guys that are giving us a tough time here,” McGrath said. “We want to support good jobs in the community.”

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