A union rally is scheduled for this afternoon as United Steel Workers Local 7-838 work towards negotiating a new contract deal with Mueller Co.
USW Local 7-838 workers say they are fighting for a fair contract for their union brothers and sisters working at Mueller Co. on 500 W. Eldorado Street in Decatur.
Their contract expired June 12, but is extended through July 20th.
The two sides are divided on pay for new hires and benefits for older workers.
President of Local 7-838, Steve Moroney, says Mueller wants to pay new hires $4 less an hour and will not increase retirement multiples.
"It splits up the union," says Moroney, "There's a lot of animosity between employees. Some of the younger guys, they're quicker than some of the older guys, so they put out more production than the older guys; but then, they're getting paid less."
Mueller released a statement saying, "We are currently in contract negotiations with the union. Out of respect for our employees and the process, we won't discuss details of the negotiations. We continue to operate the facility to meet our customers' needs during the negotiations."
Moroney says, "The employees, the few that do have a pension, the multiplier is stuck at 34 and has been since 2011. We're trying to get that raised. Like myself, a person with 40 years, I only bring home about $1,300 a month. You figure $800-900 a month for insurance for me and my wife. That's $300-400 dollars to live on a month. That's just not enough."
The informational rally will be held from 3-5pm in front of Plant 1of the Mueller building.
Mueller Co. manufactures fire hydrants, valves, and other water distribution products and has been around for more than 150 years.