PACE Union delivers an Open Letter to Chad Holliday, Chairman and CEO of E.I. DuPont de Nemours, Inc.
New York, N.Y., October 8, 2003Union workers of the DuPont Corporation, held a rally and presented Chairman and CEO Chad Holliday with an open letter requesting he take a more active role in solving work force related issues at the chemical giant. The workers are part of the DuPont Union Council, sponsored by the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union (PACE).
Mr. Holliday was in Manhattan last evening receiving the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) International Leadership Award. The union rally was held in coordination with other events last week which included a “Management Treats Us Like Trash” community rally in Louisville, Ky., a worker-solidarity action in Buffalo and strategic committee actions in Niagara Falls and Deepwater, N.J. All the events reflected growing worker concern regarding their treatment at the hands of local DuPont management.
The entire letter to Mr. Holliday is excerpted below.
Dear Mr. Holliday,
The DuPont Union Council, a part of the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union (PACE), congratulates you for receiving tonight’s prestigious International Leadership Award from the USCIB. As the Chairman and CEO of a corporation with 79,000 employees and 135 worldwide facilities, you understand intimately what is required of great leaders.
Unfortunately, we have grave concerns about the leadership exhibited by DuPont managers. A general lack of respect for hourly workers now permeates your Company.
Since workers at five DuPont plants contacted PACE, held democratic elections and voted to join our union, our members have faced consistent anti-union behavior by your management team. DuPont managers have never accepted the legitimacy of the workers’ chosen representative and have openly sought to systematically devalue its employees and destroy their union. DuPont has hired the most virulent anti-union attorneys to represent the Company at the bargaining table, and your managers now violate our negotiated contracts with impunity. Even DuPont’s nonunion employees believe that your managers have lost their way.
DuPont workers must compete in the global economy. But a competitive spirit cannot be engendered by an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. Competitive industries require an empowered work force in which human potential is unleashed and cooperation replaces hostility. Other highly successful and profitable companies, including PACE-represented Harley-Davidson, Raytech and SCA, have pursued a cooperative, participatory and high road approach to labor relations, why can’t DuPont? That, we believe, is the real challenge of your leadership in the first decade of the 21st Century.
If you believe that DuPont workers are your company’s most fundamental asset, let’s work together to show the world that fewer labor rights, lower wages and benefits, and unsafe conditions are not the path to the future for anyone. Let’s work together to make DuPont plants the most productive and safest, and DuPont products the best in the world. And let’s learn to care and share again.
We encourage you to begin a dialogue with PACE leadership, and embark on a new direction in employee relations.
Again, we congratulate you on your award.
Member Locals of the DuPont Union Council, Representing nearly 2,000 DuPont Employees
PACE International Union represents 300,000 workers in the oil, chemical, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical, atomic, kaolin, auto parts and corn milling industries.
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