Package Printing Workers
Gain 3% Each Year,
Hike in Shift
The members of amalgamated UE Local 264 employed at Package
Printing overwhelmingly ratified a new three-year agreement on March 31.
Company demands for a six-year contract, tightened discipline
and the creation of a low-rated position posed particular challenges for the
union in the month-long negotiations. Union members regarded the proposed
"utility person" as nothing more than a janitor and a way to punish
The leverage created by the strike three years ago, energetic
new shop leadership and a mobilized membership saw negotiations through to a
satisfactory conclusion. The negotiating committee kept members well informed;
several after-work meetings were well attended. Management understood that a
strike was possible.
Wages will increase by 3 percent each year. The average hourly
wage with the expiration of the old contract was $15.44; three years from now,
the average wage will be $16.87. The shift differential is improved for the
first time in many years, advancing to 50 cents for the second shift and 75
cents for the third shift.
The contract adds a new wage progression schedule as well as
three new positions: 8-color press operator at $1 an hour more than any other
position; laminator; and utility, with an initial top rate of $12.
The vacation increases for workers between five and eight
years’ service. Life insurance is increased to $22,500, $25,000 and $30,000.
The employer’s contribution to employees’ IRA accounts increases to
$13.75, $14 and $14.25. Medical insurance co-payments will be unchanged for
the term of the contract.
The UE negotiating committee consisted of Chief Steward John
Bodzinski and Steward Ron Tetrault. They were assisted by UE Field
Org. Roberta Krause.
UE News - 05/00