Why hundreds of AdvanSix workers are on strike in Hopewell

Posted at 4:11 PM, Apr 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-10 16:11:39-04

HOPEWELL, Va. -- More than 300 AdvanSix workers remain on strike Monday after walking off the job at the Hopewell chemical plant Friday.

The unions that represent the picketing workers said the strike would continue until the company presented better contract terms.

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“I think we need a fair raise across the board for everyone and we need to address the work hours that people are working," James Baugus, with Local 851, said about both base and overtime pay. "They’re working extreme amounts of hours, 18-hour shifts, day after day.”

Baugus attributed the mandatory overtime to worker shortages at the chemical plant.

"The majority of union members would receive a 6% or greater general wage increase in year one, while all others would receive a minimum of a 3% increase in year one paid as either a general wage increase or lump sum," an AdvanSix spokesperson said in a statement about the company's latest contract offer.

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A company spokesperson also said its proposed contract would increase wages for employees who earn below market value.

"We desired to bring those roles that were previously below market rates, which represented the majority of the population, to market and maintain the wages of those positions that were already at or above market," the company's statement continued. "With the average Hopewell South employee’s gross earnings in 2022 already approaching $100,000, this contract maintains our average Hopewell South employee earnings at a very competitive position in the region and area."

While some workers said they planned to stay on strike until they got the contract they wanted, the company said the plant remained up and running and was prepared to keep the plant running with salaried and contingent contract workers.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.

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