CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Two men along a picket line in Ravenswood were arrested Thursday night for damaging three delivery trucks with jack rocks and injuring a driver during a workers strike at Constellium Rolled Products in Jackson County.
Robert Mason Sullivan, II of Evans and Michael Robert Fowler of Mount Alto were arrested Thursday for felony destruction of property for throwing jack rocks -- nails welded together -- at three tractor trailers leaving the Constellium plant on Wednesday, according to a press release from the West Virginia State Police.
The driver of one of the trucks suffered an eye injury after one of the rocks shattered his windshield. The total damage to the trucks was estimated at $3,200, according to the release.
Fowler was also charged with misdemeanor battery for throwing a rock through the windshield. Both suspects were arraigned in Jackson County Magistrate Court.
Sullivan was released on a $5,000 bond and Fowler was released on a $6,000 bond.
Union and company officials condemned the attacks near the picket line as tensions continued to escalate between United Steel Workers Local 5668 and company officials.
Since the strike began at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday after a dispute about contract negotiations, limited production has continued at the aluminum plant, using salaried personnel.
The most contentious bargaining issue for both sides has been health-care benefits.
Randy Moore, sub-district director for the United Steelworkers of America, said the destructive behavior "was not sanctioned by the union" and said union workers planned to "work with the State Police to the fullest extent we can."
"It is unfortunate these incidents happened," said Moore. "If the truck driver was injured, it is unfortunate, no matter how it happened."
He added that union workers had their own tires flattened by jack rocks and said he suspected that "the goon guards the company hired to harass our picketers are responsible for that."
Constellium's CEO Kyle Lorentzen said, "Our primary concern is for the well-being and recovery of the driver, and ensuring the safety of other personnel working in and around the facility."
Michael Baylous, spokesman for the State Police, said two police cruisers had their tires punctured by jack rocks on Sunday evening.
On Wednesday, State Police Col. C.R. "Jay" Smithers went to the Ravenswood area and met with both Lorentzen and USW Local 5668 President Jason Miller.