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THOUSAND OAKS : CalMat May Replace Striking Drivers

As a strike by the local Teamsters Union against a construction materials company entered its fourth week, officials at CalMat Co. said they have begun interviewing new drivers to replace the strikers.

“We are in the process of interviewing and screening,” said CalMat spokesman Mason Dickerson. “But we haven’t made any hires yet. It will probably take us several weeks to replace all the drivers.”

The Teamsters have refused to accept a new contract with CalMat that includes a $2.20-an-hour pay cut and a reduction in health insurance benefits.

A federal mediator was brought in almost two months ago to aid negotiations, but talks broke down July 26 and have not resumed.

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Teamsters business agent Lyle Barnett said the strikers were aware that CalMat was conducting interviews Wednesday.

“They did see new people being driven in earlier this morning,” Barnett said Wednesday. “They’re saddened to see it, but it has given them new resolve to stick together.”

CalMat mailed letters to striking drivers last week telling them they would be replaced permanently if they did not return to work by Wednesday.


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