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Local 1014
Defends Contract,
Repulses Fourth Shift

SANGER, Calif.

1014.gif (53385 bytes)

In a heated contract battle with General Cable Corp., Local 1014 pulled together to defeat a national, company-wide campaign to implement continuous operations at the expense of workers’ family lives and pocketbooks.

The company presented the Local 1014 negotiating committee with a set of proposals that would have had people work 12-hour shifts, including every other weekend, for straight time. In addition, the company called for a series of contract language takeaways that would have gutted over thirty years of struggle for union rights and member protections.

General Cable had already faced a strike by IAM Local Lodge 526 members in Plano, Texas, and a near-strike by UE Local 223 members in Taunton, Mass., both mainly over the fourth shift issue.

Meanwhile, the Local 1014 membership had its sights on more flexibility and freedom in the use of both paid and unpaid time off and wage and pension increases, as well as many other improvements.

A strong negotiations support committee came together with representation from across the plant and all three shifts, including several new hires. Members wore stickers and plastered their cars with signs.

By the end of the week, members were engaging in "practice" picketing. And on the last day, members stormed the negotiations to let the company representatives know the negotiating committee had their full support.

A leader of United Steelworkers Local 6222 from the General Cable plant in Cass City, Mich. joined the UE table. Debbie Elliot brought copies of petitions sent to management that supported the UE local’s contract fight. A solidarity message came from the IAM local in Plano, Texas.

This support and, above all, the solid unity of Local 1014, allowed a tentative agreement to be achieved in the early morning of Dec. 8, just hours after the expiration of the previous contract. Later that day, the tentative agreement was ratified overwhelmingly, 108 to 4.

9.7% Wage Increase

The new contract provides for a 9.7 percent wage increase over the three years of the contract, as well as an additional 61 cents per hour for tandem operators.

Local 1014 succeeded in beating back the fourth shift, while gaining more flexibility in the use of vacation.

Pension multiplier increases of $1 each year will yield $23.50 in 1999. In addition to insurance improvements, Local 1014 members gain locked-in health premiums until 1999 and continuance of all insurance benefits for up to six months while on medical leave.

The contract adds paid bereavement days for grandparents-in-law and brother/sisters-in-law, increased recall rights and an additional union bulletin board. The shoe allowance is increased to $100 a year.

Leading the fight were Negotiating Committee members Joe Chavez, Maria Gonsalez, Alejandro Coronado, Clinton Moon and Mark Falcon, who served as Chief Spokesperson in negotiations. Gene McQuig served as alternate, and Chief Steward David Combs played a special support role at the table. Intl. Rep. Leanna Noble and Field Org. Fernando Losada provided support from the National Union.

UE News - 01/98

Home -> UE News -> 1998 Archives -> Article

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