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April 2, 2010

Teamsters go on strike at Jeffboat

Around 600 workers went on strike Friday morning at Jeffboat, Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Jeffboat, the manufacturing division of American Commercial Lines Inc. (NASDAQ: ACLI), is the largest inland shipbuilder and repair facility in the U.S.

The strike began when the contract between Teamsters Local 89 and Jeffboat expired. American Commercial Lines and the union have been negotiating on a new contract since last fall.

Local broadcaster Fox 41 quotes Fred Zuckerman, president of Teamsters Local 89 based in Louisville, as saying both sides were "close" on wages, but remained far apart on health insurance.

The union workers pay part of the cost now.

"Not only did they want higher contributions, they were gong to reduce the benefits which was actually the rub," said Mr. Zuckerman,

Mr. Zuckerman told Fox 41 he expected the company to bring in replacement workers and that the union was prepared for a long strike.

Just last month, Jeffboat and Local 89 received the 16th annual Labor-Management Award from the University of Louisville Labor-Management Center for cooperative relations between management and labor with the goal of improving safety, production, employee performance, efficiency, and cost effectiveness for optimal performance.


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