About 50 workers at Arc Bridges in Gary organized a strike Friday to protest labor relations at the not-for-profit social service agency.
The organization provides training and support for the handicapped. Arc Bridges' 200-plus workers claim it has engaged in "union busting" strategies as the American Federation of Professionals attempts to negotiate an initial contract, according to the Post-Tribune of Merrillville.
Employees claim that Arc Bridges has failed to give some workers a raise in more than six years. At the same time, they say, Arc Bridges has paid out almost $400,000 to a Louisville law firm and a Grayslake, Ill., consulting firm to hinder the workers' ability to negotiate.
Arc Bridges violated regulations by passing out anti-union literature, among other forbidden actions, a union representative said.
The union has been in regular negotiations with Arc Bridges for more than a year, and had hoped to reach a resolution by last week.