700 union workers go on strike at upstate NY chemical plant

Hundreds of union workers at an upstate New York chemical plant have gone on strike after efforts to reach a new contract with the company failed.

About 700 unionized employees at Momentive Performance Materials Inc. walked off the job Wednesday at the company's plant in the southern Saratoga County town of Waterford, on the Hudson River just north of Albany.

The strike comes after months of contract talks failed to reach an agreement with the workers who produce silicones and other materials used in a variety of industries. The union rejected a company offer that called for pay raises and a signing bonus, but also reduced health care and retiree benefits.

Formerly a longtime General Electric plant, Momentive is owned by Apollo Global Management, a New York City-based hedge fund that acquired GE's advanced materials division in 2006.