Carpenters’ Union Protests Over Benefits Agreement

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ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) - A local union is accusing the city of St. Louis of forcing employees to sign what they call a 'devious' benefits agreement.

The accusation comes in the midst of the mayor's race between incumbent Francis Slay and his opponent Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed.

Monday the Carpenters' Union, which represents about 500 city workers staged a protest outside St. Louis city hall.  Union leaders say since January the city forces new employees to sign a form that says their benefits can be cut at anytime.  The mayor's office admits that the form has caused anxiety and it will be changed.  A spokesman for Mayor Slay says changes in benefits can be changed if labor negotiations fail to yield results.

The Carpenters’ Union says Lewis Reed, Mayor Slay's opponent, helped organize the protest.

Mayor Slay`s Chief of Staff Jeff Rainford says the wording of the form wasn`t the mayor`s idea. He says the city counselor recommended to the personnel department to ask new employees to sign the form.

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