8 Hanging Tough At The Warehouse

Posted: July 16, 1996

More horns honked on the road leading to the Strawbridge and Clothier furniture warehouse yesterday.

That's the only change since eight workers from the Teamsters local took over the plant Saturday to protest the loss of 95 union jobs when S&C is sold to May Department Stores Co.

Officials at May couldn't be reached for comment, but with the official completion of the sale yesterday, the peaceful tone of the conflict might change as May's trucks try to move their merchandise later this week.

According to George Matysik, one of the workers inside the building, the workers were notified that the merchandise would be moved on July 19.

When asked what the eight workers would do when an attempt to move the merchandise is made, Matysik said he didn't know for sure.

``That's a decision we'll make that day,'' Matysik said. ``But we're prepared to stay until we get an answer on why [May] is doing this.''

For the time being, the workers have kept themselves busy by ``playing cards, razzing each other, watching TV and talking to the press,'' Emilio Feriano said.

Holed up on the second floor of the building, the workers added a Christmas tree as a symbolic gesture. ``They'll stay until Christmas if that's what it takes,'' an observer outside the warehouse said.

Union supporters inside and outside of the warehouse said the workers' actions were a last resort to save their jobs.

``We're not radical people, we're good people,'' Matysik said. ``Money is not the issue. We just want our jobs.''

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