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Truck Drivers Strike In Michigan Over Health Insurance


Truck Drivers Strike in MichiganTwenty-five employees from Hendrickson Trucking Company in Blackman Township are on strike as the company and union struggle to agree on a new contract.

Their contract expired April 1, and they have been on strike since last month. The company, 1077 S. Toro St., is asking the employees to contribute more to their health insurance, in addition to other concessions. Employees said they’ve also been told the company would no longer continue matching their retirement.

Jimmy Dobson, a truck driver for Hendrickson Trucking for 14 years, said he and his fellow co-workers are willing to pay for their health insurance but that the company will not budge on other things, like overtime and seniority.

We all know that times are tough, Dobson said. We just want to keep what we have. It’s either their way or no way.

Ed Crockett, who has been a truck driver for Hendrickson Trucking for 15 years, said it is a good company to work for but that executives are asking for more than the employees can give.

They just want to take, take and take, Crockett said.

William Bernard, a business agent for the union, said they have notified the company that the union is willing to sit down anytime and discuss the contract issues. He said he has heard no response from Hendrickson Trucking.

Jack Durbrow, treasurer for Hendrickson Trucking, said they have only heard from a mediator but not the union itself. He said costs to run the company continue to go up every year and that they need employees to make some sacrifices.

It’s to the point where we can’t absorb (the costs) anymore, he said. If and when the economy does improve, we’ll be willing to discuss possible give backs.

Since the employees are on strike, the company is in the process of hiring permanent replacement employees.

For us to continue to exist, we needed help, Durbrow said. We asked for the help and didn’t receive it. The strike helps no one.

Article originally posted at Michigan Live Online.


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