There’s a new round of talks in the works to try to end the strike at Maytag’s Newton plant which has idled 15-hundred workers. Representatives of Maytag and the United Auto Workers local 997 will meet later today in Chicago to resume talks on a new labor agreement. It’s the first time since June 10th that the two sides have met to negotiate. According to the union, the last contract offer from Maytag included lump sum payments rather than an increase in hourly wages, and union leaders claim those lump sum payments aren’t enough to cover the additional health care costs employees would have to bear. Out of pocket medical expenses for workers would go up four-thousand dollars a year, according to the union. The union also says Maytag’s three-year last offer would provide only minimal increases in pension benefits for some future retirees, and some Maytag workers who retire in the future would see their pension benefits frozen.
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