The following worker report is provided by an anonymous AdvanSix worker on the recent strike in the Hopewell South plant and issues with the newest contract coming out of the strike

This is an Advansix employee. People voted yes to the contract cause money was running out for them. Otherwise we would’ve stayed on the strike line. 

The company told us if we didn’t vote to accept this contract this last time, they would be hiring our replacements next week. Also, they told us the raises they were gonna give us, they would take away and set a new pay rate if they went back to the table again. 

Our union told us the company never truly met in good faith. They would meet the union board for ten minutes at a time!!! Really? 

With retirement, training, understaff issues and forced work days on your days off for 12/18 hours. And none of that was addressed. Only funeral leave was changed.  We were told that the company reps said the first day, “this is our proposal, and we bought 51% of your people already!” 

Erin Kane, CEO, said they were meeting in good faith. Yeah right!!! Please keep in mind that the company just gave her a bonus of over a million dollars, they also spent 75 million on stock buybacks, they collected COVID funds from the CARES Act.

As employees during COVID, all we received was a letter stating that we were essential workers and need to come to work and we got a travel size bottle of hand sanitizer and lip balm. Now each year since COVID, they posted they made record profits three years in a row and their outlook was good in the future. But we get pizza. 

Now keep in mind this profit they are making is when the plant is running at 90% or better.  And we have done that while understaffed, so they want the production standards, but we sacrificed our time with our families and our days off. They don’t seem to be in a hurry to replace lost workers, just more forced schedules. 

Why would you hire someone when that salary can go into the bottom line? I’m angry due to the fact none of that was addressed. Not to say they didn’t try to chat about it, but the company has no empathy for their workforce. They have billboards saying they care about the workers and the community, but does it sound like they really care? 

The retirement wasn’t even expanded on or at least something along the lines of profit sharing ideas or stock options or anything. From what I’m told they supposedly gave us 8% in our 401K, but I’ll believe it when I see it.  If they would’ve given us an extra week vacation to relax and clear our minds when we need it, would really help. 

Keep in mind we work in a place with different kinds of acid that can kill you instantly, chemicals that one drop on your skin can cause your blood to stop absorbing oxygen, and gases that can choke your lungs to death. I hate to say this, but since the CEO and the board live in New Jersey, they look at Virginia workers as country bumpkins and that we’ll take anything thrown at us. If I die or get hurt I don’t have anything to pass on to my family or family members. 

At least with the COVID funds they received, they could’ve gave each of us a $1500 one time check to say thank you.  You figure 1500 x 340 employees is $510,000. But keep in mind they got $12 million from COVID relief. Right now, my co workers are worried they are gonna bring the hammer down on us for striking so long and try to retaliate in some sort of way. But that’s my two cents. The company hasn’t helped the worker at all and we feel like we lost more than gained. 

Also the majority of the folks that voted yes, have a pension and are collecting two checks. One from the previous owners and Advansix. As a newer worker, I feel like I’m fighting for crumbs. And so are my co-workers in the same shoes also.

I forgot to mention. When we asked about holiday pay for days worked. (We use to get double time for holidays.) They told us that they could only do time and a half. So we asked if we could at least get paid for all holidays. They told us they would take away flag day and give us Juneteenth. So they just effectively moved one day to another day.

We came back on our first day and were forced 12 hour days on our days off. A situation that wasn’t addressed. Also, the company has told us that since we were out the company has run better. But keep in mind it takes us 2.5 years to train, but our replacements are doing a better job than us. Really?

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