Labor Dispute Draws Bad Blood at TCL - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Labor Dispute Draws Bad Blood at TCL

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Kennewick, WA- A Federal a mediator will try to bring together management and workers at Tri
Cities Laboratory.

The 150 union members have rejected the company's contract proposal.

Union negotiator David Fleishman says TCL workers earn less than other lab workers in the state, and want a guaranteed wage scale.

"They don't want a guaranteed wage scale," Fleishman says. "They want the right to change health and retirement benefits without negotiating with the union. They want the right to change policy any time they want. And labor law gives us the right to bargain all of this."

TCL manager Paul Christensen says the company continues to bargain in good faith, but says he wants to give raises based on merit.

"We believe employees who perform above and beyond should be compensated accordingly,"Christensen says. "It's something we've always done and we want to continue to do."

The TCL workers unionized last year. They've been in contract negotiations for the past ten months.

Management and union representatives will meet with the federal mediator next Tuesday.