ShareThis Page
Fourth striking worker arrested in Harmar |

Fourth striking worker arrested in Harmar

| Thursday, August 30, 2012 3:51 p.m

HARMAR — Township police arrested a striking Curtiss-Wright worker Thursday morning at the entrance of the Electro-Mechanical Division plant along Low Grade Road — the fourth such arrest since picketing began.

Members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1914 set up a picket line at the plant entrance when some 300 workers went on strike on Friday after negotiations for a new contract broke down.

Workers say the company’s contract proposal includes a 2 percent pay cut for the first year and elimination of company pensions for new employees.

Since hitting the picket line, 20 or more Local 1914 workers, with picket signs in hand, walk in a circle at the plant entrance passing out handbills to vehicles coming into the plant.

Sheryl Haley of Lower Burrell was charged Thursday with obstructing highways and other passages, a summary offense that carries a fine of as much as $300 plus fees, according to Harmar police Chief Jason Domaratz.

According to Domaratz, Haley was arrested for not letting traffic into the plant.

But Haley, who has worked at the plant for more than 30 years and walked a picket line before, said she only was passing out handbills.

“We were rallying peacefully,” she said.

“I’ve walked a picket line before and I did nothing different than before,” Haley said.

Police handcuffed her and took her to Local 1914’s union hall in Springdale Township.

Haley is among four workers, including Daniel Vandenburgh, president of Local 1914, who have been arrested and cited by police for similar violations at the picket line.

Otherwise, the picket line has been peaceful, police say.

“For the most part, they are being OK,” Domaratz said.

However, there have been traffic backups along and from Low Grade Road to Route 28’s Springdale exit (Exit 12) in the mornings since Tuesday.

“The picketers aren’t stopping the cars,” Domaratz said. But, the chief said, the picket line is slowing traffic that funnels to the plant’s entrance, causing traffic backups on the roads.

The union intends to continue picketing outside the plant entrance, according to Vandenburgh.

“We’re interested in a fair contract and getting back to the bargaining table,” he said.

Sharon Dey, A Curtiss-Wright spokeswoman, said Thursday afternoon, “We believe that the best course of action at the moment, and one that will lead to the best outcome for everyone, is for the parties to return to the table to continue negotiations.”

Mary Ann Thomas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4691 or

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.