Managers step in for striking Mallinckrodt workers

Mallinckrodt contingency operations have kept its pharma chemical plant in St. Louis operating for more than two weeks following a strike by 420 union workers. About 400 managers and salaried workers are filling in for the strikers, members of United Auto Workers Local 1887.

The striking workers include about 200 chemical operators who work with pharmaceutical products; about 80 are skilled trade and warehouse workers.

The strike follows a contract-renewal offer by the company, a division of Dublin-based Covidien, of a 2.5 percent pay increase that came along with cuts to retiree medical benefits, seniority rights, Sunday pay, sick days and vacation time, according to the St. Louis Business Journal. The former contract ended April 30; the strike began at midnight.

A spokesperson says Mallinckrodt wanted to modify the labor agreement to make operations more efficient and cost-effective. No negotiations were scheduled as of late last week, though both sides say they are willing. The union says the next move is up to the company.

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