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Local 279 Improves
Wages, Benefits;
Fends Off Givebacks

SALEM, Mass.

Dinkelaker, Quinn, Authelet, Little, Cox, D’Entremont.
The UE Local 279 negotiating committee. From left, Field Org. Andrew Dinkelaker, Chief Steward Larry Quinn, Intl. Rep. Harry Authelet, Pres. Steve Little, Fin. Sec. Patrick Cox and Paul D’Entremont.


The members of UE Local 279 on Feb. 6, 2000 ratified a new three-year contract with their employer Atwood & Morrill Co. Inc., a manufacturer of large valves and control equipment. Atwood & Morrill is owned by the Weir Group, based in Glasgow, Scotland.

In-shop solidarity sent a message to the front office and beyond that Local 279 members were determined to maintain their fully company-paid insurance and 10 percent shift differential, despite the employer’s takeaway demands.

Their agreement contains wage increases of 3 percent each year; the average hourly wage at the expiration of the previous agreement was $16.93.

The sickness and accident benefit will increase by $15 per year and life insurance by $1,000 per year.

The Local 279 membership will maintain their current Tufts HMO plan with no worker-paid premiums. However, the doctor visit co-payment goes from $5 to $10 and their prescription drug co-payment maximum goes from $18 to $30.


Going into the negotiations two areas the membership was looking to advance was their current $16.45 pension multiplier and four weeks of vacation after 20 years. Although no gains were made in vacation time they were able to gain an unprecedented increase of $1.00 per year in their pension multiplier.

The union successfully rebuffed the company’s attack on the second shift 10 percent differential and its attempt to pay overtime only after 40 hours, instead of the established after-8-hours rule.

The UE Local 279 negotiating committee consisted of Pres. Steve Little, Chief Steward Larry Quinn Jr., Fin. Sec. Patrick Cox, and Grievance Committee member Paul D’Entremont. They were assisted by UE Intl. Rep. Harry Authelet and Field Organizer Andrew Dinkelaker.

UE News - 02/00

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