Talks between a South Gate window manufacturer and striking factory workers have broken down after the company refused to hire back most of the strikers, union officials said Wednesday.
Union negotiator Sean Harren, of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said that both sides had reached a tentative agreement on wages, but that negotiations broke off late Tuesday when the company insisted on keeping replacement workers hired during the strike.
Nearly all the strikers at the International Window Corp. factory were replaced after they walked out in a contract dispute Sept. 10. Harren said the company was willing to hire back 30 of about 120 strikers.
Many of the workers had been with the company for more than 20 years and reacted angrily to the offer, which would have provided a first-year raise of 1.5%. A formal vote on the deal was scheduled today despite the breakdown in talks, and several strikers predicted the offer would be defeated.
Susan Leone, chief negotiator for International Aluminum Corp., the factory's parent company, did not return calls seeking comment.
The strike began over a contract offer that would have raised wages for veteran workers by 2% the first year and 1.5% each of the next two years. Employees said they had gone without raises for six years and initially demanded 5% annual increases.
Most earned less than $10 per hour.