In a near-unanimous vote, members of UE Local 1187 in Elk Point, S.D.,
have ratified a new three-year agreement with CMI Corporation, ending a
9-month strike against the company's Load King trailer manufacturing operations.
The strike settlement agreement, ratified on Sunday,
October 24th, guarantees all strikers will be reinstated to their former jobs and provides $1.35 per hour in wage hikes
over the contract term. It also reverses punitive wage and benefit cuts made
by CMI during the strike and rescinds special, more favorable wage and
working condition arrangements which had been offered to "permanent replacement"
workers recruited to break the strike.
It appeared that any scabs who remain after the call back of strikers is completed over the next two weeks will
likely be forced to take off shifts in addition to losing the special bonus rates
CMI had paid to induce them to cross the picket line.
The strike settlement follows a months-long corporate campaign which included protest activities in
a half-dozen states and a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board that
the strike was an "unfair labor practice" strike because CMI failed to
bargain in good faith with the leaders of UE Local 1187.
"This was a hard-fought struggle — our members
chased this scofflaw company from Wisconsin to Texas to North Carolina
to press for a measure of justice," said Bob Kingsley, UE's
Director of Organization. "This settlement is a victory for our
members in Elk Point and for UE members and allies nationwide who
joined in supporting this strike and bringing pressure to bear on CMI."
The members of UE Local 1187 would like to thank
everyone who added their voices to theirs in this long struggle for