South Shore, KY brick plant strike includes safety issues and tension on the picket line

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More than 100 brick plant workers continue to strike in Greenup County, KY.

The company makes furnace lining bricks for glass factories and steel mills. 

Safety issues are a part of what’s behind the walkout.

The county sheriff is monitoring the situation and tensions are rising.

We saw striking union members at the Harbison Walker International brick plant hindering big trucks from leaving the gate.

Strikers blocked the entrance to the plant Monday, preventing buses filled with replacement workers from getting inside.

On Tuesday, those striking workers are under a restraining order, and the plant is back in full operation.

The company said in a statement that its last offer was market competitive and fair to employees and customers.  

Striking workers dispute that, citing cuts in pensions, health insurance and starting pay.

These brick makers told us they use hazardous materials, chromium oxide, and silica dust.

They said the company won’t safeguard their exposure.

Union President Craig Hunt told 13 News, “We take that stuff home on our clothes, to our families. We need decontamination and they are not willing to discuss it.”   

In a statement, the company said it’s committed to reaching a new contract, but right now, it also must meet customer production needs.

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