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BARBOURSVILLE — Fifty members of Machinists Union Local 598, District 54 are on strike at Sulzer Pumps in Barboursville after their contract expired Thursday.

The striking union workers began the strike at midnight on Friday and set up picket lines outside the facility at 1305 Main Street.

“Machinists Union members at Sulzer Pumps are simply asking for the company to negotiate a fair contract,” District 54 President and Directing Business Representative T. Dean Wright Jr. said.

He said machining and foundry workers voted overwhelmingly to reject the company’s final offer and to go on strike after company management refused to negotiate a reasonable contact.

"Our members are taking a stand for their families and their communities by demanding this company treat its employees with respect regarding their seniority with their employer. It is our sincere hope that Sulzer management realizes the importance of its dedicated workers," Wright said.

A telephone message to Sulzer Pumps was not immediately returned.

Meanwhile, union workers at Special Metals in Huntington were seen picketing the company Friday.

An official with United Steelworkers Local 40 said at the union hall on Buffington Street that the contract for over 450 members of the union with the company ended Thursday at midnight.

“We are striking after not reaching a new contract agreement with the company,” the officials said, who declined to give his name. “We have several issues with the company, including seniority, health care and wages.”

The union official would not give any updates regarding the negotiations. Picketing union workers also refused to comment.

Attempts to contact Oregon-based Precision Castparts, Special Metals’ parent company, for comment were unsuccessful.

Precision Castparts Corp. is a worldwide manufacturer of metal components and products. It serves the aerospace, power and general industrial markets.

According to its website, the Huntington plant is the company’s principal production site in the country, supported by other facilities at Burnaugh, Kentucky, and Elkhart, Indiana.

Fred Pace is the business reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Follow him at Facebook.com/FredPaceHD and via Twitter @FredPaceHD.

Fred has been in the newspaper industry for 30+ years. He continues to be excited to bring readers news that only comes thru local journalism. “Being able to share the passion felt by entrepreneurs in our community with readers is exciting,” he said.

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