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Union Leaders Angered Over Firearms Ban
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CINCINNATI, Ohio - Union leaders working for Proctor & Gamble have threatened a slow down or even a strike over the company's recent ban on firearms in its buildings. "We walk through those doors every day, with the same list of rights and benefits applying to us as yesterday, until that fateful day in March," recalled Elias Bonestucker, head of the Cardboard Box Assemblers Local #439, "On that day we were met with a sign telling us that firearms were forbidden -- forbidden, mind you -- on the premises. Here was a benefit we didn't even know we had, and it was stripped away without a single negotiation."

"All I see is a bunch of banana-manager morons seizing [our] rights."
-- Elias Bonestucker, union leader
"I can assure Mr. Bonestucker that he hasn't lost any rights," assured P&G spokesman Andy Bachterel, "The employees were never allowed to carry firearms. It only makes sense, doesn't it? But when Ohio passed its 'concealed carry' law, many businesses, including P&G, decided it would be prudent to take a proactive stance and let it be known that firearms are still not permitted here. The signs clarify an existing position, they do not represent a new one."

"All I see is a bunch of banana-manager morons seizing the rights of the workers without any sort of compensation," explained Bonestucker angrily, "What's next? Paid vacations? Health insurance? If we allow them to take away our benefits without a fight, we're telling them the sky's the limit! If they're going to take away our firearms benefits, we need to get something in return."

Opinions of the workers at P&G varied. "I don't understand where the steward's comin' from on this one," said one worker who asked not to be named, "I don't personally myself know of anybody that owns a gun. And if they did, why would they bring it here? Really, I guess I'm kinda glad to know there's a rule about it." Maydean Grumpit, a Green-6 level cardboard box assembler, feels there is a bigger issue at stake, "The managements think they's can jes do and take and be and what not, and we can'ts do nothing about 'em. I don't own a gun, but if I ever gets one, the first thing I'm doin' is bringing it right here. We can't jes let 'em make up rules whenever the moon hits 'em."

"Our position is clear," explained Bachterel, "The rules have been in place for years. The sign has just brought the issue to the fore. There will be no negotiation on the matter. And if the entire box-assembly workforce wants to take a few months off to think about it, we'll just have to see if we can scour the globe for the offshore skills necessary to assemble boxes. I think we'd survive it as a company."
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