Local 690 Settles
Container, Kenson Plastics
As they prepared for recent contract negotiations, the members of UE Local 690 knew that they would have their work cut
out for them. Local 690, an amalgamated local consisting of Kenson Plastics and Consolidated Container Corporation (CCC) workers, faced
back-to-back negotiations for the first time. This would also be the first set of negotiations with CCC, which bought Reid Plastics chain,
including the Leetsdale plant employing Local 690 members.
In an effort to involve more of their members in face-to-face negotiations, both shops expanded their negotiating
committees beyond the local’s officers to include shop stewards and rank-and-file members. The members at CCC also did outreach to other
union locals at their company’s other plants, gaining useful contract information.
The members at Kenson in Warrendale, whose contract expired first, were able to beat back their company’s demand for
health insurance cost-shifting. An employee with a family will still pay only $60 per month and the company will continue to pay 100
percent for employee coverage.
The members at Kenson will see their wages increase by $1.40 over the next three years: $.50 the first year and $.45 in
each additional year. The base rates for all job classifications are also increased.
Kenson members gain an extra personal day, bringing their total to five personal days per year, which can be taken in
four-hour increments. Members with 17 years of service get one extra vacation day.
The company will contribute an extra .5 percent into their 401(k) savings plans. Sickness and accident benefits increase
from $275 to $300 per week. Life insurance benefits increase an additional $1,000 per year over the next three years.
For CCC members, the company showed its hand before their negotiations began when the company announced that effective
Jan. 1 employees with family coverage would see their health insurance contribution increase from $54 per pay to $110 per pay. After
threatening to file unfair labor practice charges, CCC members were able to get the company to back down.
While CCC members were able to beat back most of the company’s cost-shifting proposals, an employee will now have to
contribute 20 percent towards their health insurance. However, employees with families will see their contribution decrease from 30
percent to 15 percent for the first two years before rising to 20 percent in the third year. CCC members also gained dental benefits for
the first time, with the company paying 50 percent of the premium.
In addition, the company will now extend health insurance coverage up to 26 weeks for members who are off work due to a
work-related accident or illness, sickness and accident (STD), FMLA or layoff. Sickness and accident benefits increase to 26 weeks per
incident with an employee receiving 60 percent of their weekly base pay, up to a maximum weekly benefit of $400.
CCC members will see their wages increase $1.30 over the next three years: $.40 the first year and $.45 in each additional
year. The members also received a $325 signing bonus, including those on layoff. The base rates for shipping and quality control are also
CCC members gain an additional paid holiday: New Year’s Eve Day, which brings their total to 11 paid holidays. Members
with 14 years’ seniority gain a fourth week of vacation and the threshold for receiving two and three weeks was lowered to two years and
six years, respectively.
The 401(k) language is improved to prevent the company from discontinuing the plan or altering the benefits.
In addition, the members gain a retirement bonus of $200 per year of service, payable at the age of 62 if the member has
at least 25 years of service.
CCC members also gain strong safety and health language, and for the first time, paid jury duty language.
The Kenson negotiating committee consisted of Local Pres. Mark DiCiero, Chief Steward Jeff Kennedy, and
long-time rank-and-file members Al Dunlap and Bill Shaffer.
The CCC negotiating committee consisted of Vice Pres. John Thompson, Chief Steward David Shields, Rec. Sec. Kurtis
Miller and stewards Larry Byrd, Tim Delo, Dale Sarvey and Holly Snow. Both shops were assisted by Field Org. James L.
UE News - 4/03