Workers at a distribution center in Lehigh County have gone on strike.
Hundreds of workers at the Advance Auto Parts warehouse in Weisenberg Township went on strike Wednesday over a labor dispute, according to a union news release.
The union representing workers said AAP has failed to negotiate a fair contract for employees.
The workers voted to unionize with the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) in September 2018.
Negotiations for a first contract for about 550 workers began in November, but AAP and the union have not been able to reach an agreement, LIUNA said.
More than 90% of AAP workers turned down their employer's proposal in August and voted to go on strike, the union said.
Tom Borum, business manager for local 1310, did not see this coming.
"To start I did not. I thought with the company we went through some non-monetary issues rather well," he said.
The biggest sticking points are wages, which the union says start at $13 an hour, and health care.
The group of 500 workers voted to strike and say they plan to keep it up until something changes.
"As long as we have to," Borum said.
Advance Auto Parts released this statement in response.
We have been bargaining in good faith with the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) for nearly a year and put forward a very fair contract for the more than 500 Team Members at our Kutztown Distribution Center. We are extremely committed to all of our more than 70,000 Team Members across Advance. We look forward to resolving this process amicably and in a manner that serves both our Team Members and our company's long term success. We put our Customers at the center of everything we do. A strike by any part of our Kutztown Distribution Center workforce will not impact our ability to service our Customers.