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Contract Reached
With Harowe’s New Owner


Contract Settled!

Workers employed by API-Harowe, members of amalgamated UE Local 155, ratified a new three-year contract in November, effective Dec. 1, by a vote of 23 to 11. This is the first agreement negotiated since Danaher Corporation bought the company in early 2000.

Corporate officials proposed adding a new "Standard Work" article to the contract, but the UE committee insisted it be an addendum. (The Danaher Business System incorporates elements of the kaizen group determination process.) The union also gained protection for grieving and bargaining.

Wages increase by 35 cents in each year. The company and committee are to meet soon to evaluate all job classifications for possible additional upgrades in pay.

Sickness and accident benefits go from $200 to $240 the first year, to $250 the second year and $260 the third year. The company will offer long-term disability at employee expense, at the current rate of 39 cents per $100 of monthly income for a 60 percent benefit amount.

As a consequence of the change of ownership, the current defined-benefit pension plan will be frozen as of April 30, 2003, with regard to years of credited service and the $12.50 multiplier. All participants will be fully vested. Harowe workers will come under the Danaher Savings and Retirement Plan effective May 1, 2003. The company will contribute an amount equal to 3 percent of each employee’s annual pay to this 401(k) plan, no matter whether the employee contributes or not.

In addition, the plan allows for a $.50 per dollar match, up to another 3 percent company contribution. Employees will direct funds into a choice of 12 options, with accounts with Fidelity Investments.


With the change of ownership and membership approval of the new contract, the old medical insurance is no longer available, replaced by the Danaher Corporation’s self-insured plan, an 80/20 Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). The plan features Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield and CIGNA mental health and prescription drug and vision coverage. The Company will reimburse in-network deductibles. Part of employee contributions will go into a supplemental insurance fund to reimburse $1500 / $3000 out-of-pocket maximums as incurred. Employees will have the option of CIGNA dental coverage at substantially lower contribution levels than the former plan with better benefits.

The total employee contributions, except for the dental option, are exactly what employees would have paid if the former insurance plan had been renewed.

Since the former Department of Transportation testing policy no longer applies, drug testing will be performed only as required by statute. The company will discuss with the union any customer requirements regarding testing prior to implementation.

Among other changes to the attendance policy, all points were reset to zero on Dec. 1, 2002.

The Local 155 negotiating committee at API-Harowe consisted of Chief Steward Betsy Snyder, Ellice Cannon, Linda Dennis and Barbara Logan. They were assisted by Field Org. Jim Ermi.

UE News - 1/03

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