‘Bat Signal’ returns as USW strike enters second week at Continental Cement; company issues statement


-Photo by Dawn Long

HANNIBAL, Mo. — United Steelworkers (USW) who have been on strike against Continental Cement since Wednesday rallied with the union’s “bat signal” projector Monday at the plant entrance’s just off Mo. 79.

About 100 members of USW Local 11-205 are striking over scheduling, overtime and cross training among other issues.

The previous contract originally expired in May 2022 and union employees continued working with and without a formal contract extension while bargaining continued until last Wednesday.

Continental Cement issued a statement regarding the strike:

Continental Cement Company values our employees, and we remain committed to negotiating in good faith and look forward to completing negotiations with United Steelworkers Local 11-205 (Union) on a new, mutually agreeable 3-year contractSafety is our primary core value and applies consistently to all employees.

Our current wages are among the highest of other manufacturing facilities in Hannibal, and we have proposed the largest classified wage increase at the Hannibal plant in years.   Over the next 3 years, employees will be able to earn about an additional $20,000 or more—just in straight-time earnings (excluding shift differential and overtime pay)—as a result of our proposed pay increases.  At the end of 3 years, the lowest rated job will be able to earn as much as $71,000 per year, and our top rated job will be able to earn nearly $90,000 per year, just in straight-time earnings, prior to overtime and shift differential.

In exchange for this unprecedented investment in our employees and to strengthen our competitive positioning, the Company has requested added flexibility.   We are committed to reaching a fair agreement on the CBA and continue to negotiate in good faith. We look forward to completing negotiations. 

In the interim, we have activated our contingency plan to continue planned plant activity and ensure cement shipments are maintained. We remain committed and well positioned to supplying our customer needs as the negotiations progress.”

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