No End In Sight For Ingalls Strike - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

No End In Sight For Ingalls Strike

No deal. That's the only real news to come out of the meeting union leaders had Wednesday with Northrop Grumman officials. It's the first meeting with a federal mediator since the strike began.

"We met with the company and identified our issues, and little progress was made," Metal Trades Union President Mike Crawley said.

Union leaders had little to say after a five hour meeting with Northrop Grumman officials and a federal mediator.

But as the strike enters it's second week, union members walking the picket line are optimistic. They believe the walk out will eventually bring better wages and more benefits.

"They know what is fair. We are not here to start trouble, we just want a piece of the pie," said one striking worker.

Union members rejected the company's offer of a $2.50 an hour raise over three years.

Union leaders presented Northrop's President Philip Teel with a counter offer of a $2 raise the first year of the contract, and $1 raises in each of the final two years.

As for lower health insurance costs, no one would say what was discussed.

Northrop Grumman President Philip Teel did his best to avoid reporters. Someone even moved Teel's car, forcing reporters to chase him for a comment.

"I think you got a joint statement from the unions about the meeting. That statement stands for the company and the union," Teel said.

"Phil Teel is showing us he do not want to talk. Photographers had to chase him down to get a few brief statements out of him," pipefitter Carlos Stringfield said.

Stringfield waited outside the talks to find out about his future. He said he's disappointed, but determined.

"From here on out, we will continue to keep the picket line going until they make their minds up they want to give more money."

Northrop Grumman officials and union leaders say no additional meetings are scheduled at this point.

By Patrice Clark

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