Columbia Gas Strike

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Nearly 530 hourly Columbia Gas Union employees in West Virginia and Kentucky walked out on strike one minute after 12 a.m. Wednesday morning.

No talks are scheduled yet for the work stoppage against the Charleston-based company.

Columbia Gas has compressor stations in Ripley and Rockport, 30 employees from the two stations are among those that are on strike. Local Columbia employees tell us why they are on the picket lines.

"We can't get our benefits they're giving us a hard time with our benefits, this strike is pretty quick, so we don't have too much information yet," says Gene Groves, the shop steward at the Ripley Compressor.

Bell White, a striking worker from the Ripley Compressor says, "really we're out here for our pension and retirement they just don't seem to be willing to have anything to talk to us about."

The striking workers are transmission lines operators, equipment operators and compression facility workers in the paper, allied-industrial, chemical and energy worker's union

A Columbia spokesman says it's hard to say how long the strike will last but they are working hard to get the issues resolved and the workers back to work.

A federal mediator is involved with the negotiations.