by Eyewitness News
8:51 PM CDT, October 8, 2012
The strike at Bombardier is causing traffic headaches for drivers. One woman spent four and a half hours in her car waiting to get into work at Bombardier.
She waited because the machinists on strike were stopping every car entering the facility. They would spend 30-40 seconds with each car causing traffic to back up for miles.
After awhile, police asked they limit it to ten seconds to avoid major delays. The union members agreed.
However, police ask that unless you need to be in the area to avoid the northbound lanes of Tyler between Macarthur and Kellogg the rest of the week.
The machinists hit the picket lines Monday after 79% of union workers voted to strike on Saturday.
Union Spokesman Bob Wood tells Eyewitness News, the main sticking point in the contract is the cost of health care. Workers say they can live with the 1% a year pay increase they were offered. But they say it's too much to pay an extra $100 or more a month for health insurance.
Flight engineer Jimmy Stansfield says his wife is on two medications that don't have generic brands. He says her co-pays will jump from about $60 a month to $160. "We just scrape by. We live paycheck to paycheck just like anybody else does," he said.
Bombardier says it needs to lower labor costs to maintain the size of its workforce and remain competitive. Wood says they're ready to negotiate as soon as Bombardier is willing.
The machinists represent 1/4 of the 3,500 employees at Bombardier.
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