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Fairbanks Scales Reaches Contract Deal With Striking Workers

Striking workers have reached an agreement with Fairbanks Scales in St. Johnsbury and will return to work.

The 65 employees, members if the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, went on strike Nov. 1 after they said talks with the company had reached an impasse.

Union representative Chad McGinnis says the company returned to the bargaining table Monday and the two sides reached an agreement that has been ratified by members.

“We accomplished pretty close to what we were looking for. The real crux of the contract battle had to do winning a fair wage increase and being able to control insurance premium increases,” says McGinnis.

An official with Fairbanks Scales confirmed an agreement had been reached but declined further comment.

McGinnis says the three-year contract is the result of the strike and an aggressive bargaining approach by the union which seeks “not just to defend but to improve our working conditions.”

“Our position is that workers create all the wealth of this society and we’re entitled to, at the very least, a fair shake,” he says.

Fairbanks Scales has a long history in Vermont. The company began manufacturing scales in St. Johnsbury in 1830.

It’s undergone several mergers and acquisitions since then. The company has been based in Kansas City, MO for the past 30 years.

According to its website, Fairbanks Scales employs more than 500 people nationwide.  

Steve has been with VPR since 1994, first serving as host of VPR’s public affairs program and then as a reporter, based in Central Vermont. Many VPR listeners recognize Steve for his special reports from Iran, providing a glimpse of this country that is usually hidden from the rest of the world. Prior to working with VPR, Steve served as program director for WNCS for 17 years, and also worked as news director for WCVR in Randolph. A graduate of Northern Arizona University, Steve also worked for stations in Phoenix and Tucson before moving to Vermont in 1972. Steve has been honored multiple times with national and regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for his VPR reporting, including a 2011 win for best documentary for his report, Afghanistan's Other War.
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