Union workers picket in Southeast Kansas, threatening to strike pending the outcome of a contract with Kansas Gas Service. The contract is almost up so workers are holding informational pickets to get better pay and health care.
"No to United Health Care," “KGS will not bust this union," “cost of healthcare makes us sick.” The points members of the United Steel Workers Union want to make by peacefully picketing outside of Kansas Gas Service.
The 5 year contract the union has with the company ends Friday at midnight and union workers say negotiations are not going well.
“All we want is fair wages and a good health care plan,” says Brock Volmer who works out of Parsons.
Kansas Gas Service, a division of One Gas, wants to switch to United Health Care, something the workers say they are against because not many doctors in the area accept that insurance. Contract negotiations are in Kansas City and union members picket in multiple locations throughout the region including Parsons and Pittsburg.
“We want to spread awareness to everyone in the community that Kansas Gas Service isn't bargaining in good faith with us, the union workers, that do provide the good service to everyone in the community,” says Volmer.
A Kansas Gas Service representative says they are in good faith to come to an agreement.
Until then, picketers will be joined by their families, the ones they say will be impacted most by these changes.
“It’s taking money out of our pockets, its taking food out of our mouths. We're trying to perform a service for the company and do a good job and earn an honest wage and they're taking that away from us,” says Volmer.
Workers say they don't want to strike but will if an agreement isn't reached before the midnight deadline tomorrow night.
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