LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - After months of negotiations and hours of ratification, Lufkin Industries has signed a new three year contract. This is a sigh of relief for employees, who days ago, feared their job security.
"Fear of the unknown is always the thing that most people are concerned with," said Brian Gifford, Vice-President of Lufkin Industries Human Resources. "So, whenever a contract negotiation comes up, there's always a concern that the company's going to figure out ways to cut costs and cut jobs. In fact, that's not the case with us."
Employees were considering a strike, to make sure their voices could be heard.
"We have a say on what goes on. It just really comes down to what they think really needs to be changed and if we actually need to vote on it," said Lufkin Industries employee Spencer Curry.
The three unions, Boiler Makers, International Association of Machinists, and the Glass, Molders, and Potters Union, voted Sunday morning. In the early afternoon, they delivered the news of the new contract.
"They're extremely, extremely well-skilled this time at assisting us and understanding the company's needs while we worked very hard to understand the employee's needs from their perspective," said Gifford. "And, having that joint cooperation was very very important step in making sure we didn't have a strike."
Lufkin Industries says they realize how valuable employees are to the company, which is why they worked down to the wire to reach a contract agreement.
"What we did this time is worked in a method in a process that allowed both of us to come out as winners," said Gifford.
The employees can look to have higher pay rates and more off time with the negotiations.