Lufkin Industries union workers not on strike

LUFKIN (KTRE)- Lufkin Industry union workers will have to wait another week for contract negotiations and are no longer on unofficial strike.

According to Machinest Business Representative Terry Taylor, after movement from the company, the following agreement was reached:

"In order to provide all parties with an opportunity to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement, all parties hereby agree to a seven day extension of the current master agreement.  The seven day extension will expire midnight, Sunday, October 12th."

The agreement to extend the current contract was signed by all three local unions, the machinests, boiler makers and moulders, and the HR representative for Lufkin Industries.

According to union workers, the first contract presented by Lufkin Industries was rejected.  That's when they went "back to the table" Sunday evening.  The result of the meeting was the extension.

We are told all parties are being given the chance to come up with a new agreement that will have to be reached by next Sunday.

Union workers say the problem with the first offer was the new 12-hour shift, working four days on, then four days off.  Workers say if they accepted that plan, there would be no chance for overtime and could cost workers anywhere from $1,000-$3,000 a month in wages, which amounts to $10,000 to $20,000 a year.

The first offer also included an 11% hourly wage increase, but workers say it wouldn't compensate for the amount of overtime lost.  Plus they would have to pay an 18% increase for the cost of benefits.

Officials say a strike is no longer planned at this time.  Stay with KTRE and for the latest developments.