Local 111 Unfreezes
At Gardner Cryogenics
Local 111 negotiators (from left) Walt
Reppert, Duane Yaindl, Dennis Nagy, Paul Krajcirik and Jim Reph.
Members of UE Local 111, Independent Cryogenic Workers,
recently ratified a new three-year agreement by a close vote.
Local 111 members work for Gardner Cryogenics, a division of
Air Products Inc., at two locations: a fabrication shop in Bethlehem that
produces vessels and tanks for transport of liquid hydrogen, and a rehab
facility in Allentown (Gardner South) where tanker trucks are repaired.
During the last set of negotiations, the shops had few orders
and nearly half the workforce had been laid off just prior to contract
expiration. This time around, however, the shops are busy. Union members felt
they deserved a bigger piece of the profit pie.
Under the terms of the new agreement, Gardner workers will
receive wage increases of 55 cents the first year, 50 cents the second and 50
the third. The shop average prior to expiration of the previous agreement was
$16.63. The afternoon shift differential goes up 13 cents to 48 cents an hour.
Negotiations were silent on medical insurance.
Weekly sickness and accident pay increases $20 in each year,
to reach $430 in the third year. The contract improves the language in this
area, as well: If members exhaust their 26 weeks of benefits and remain
disabled, employees and dependents will continue to receive medical coverage
for an additional two weeks. Life insurance and accidental death and
dismemberment both increase $1,000 each year to $28,000 by the third year.
The monthly pension multiplier increases by $4 to $38 by the
third year. Local 111 members enjoy the "magic 80 formula" — early
retirement with unreduced benefit levels is possible when workers reach age 55
and have a total of 80 points when age and years of service are combined or at
age 62 with 10 years of service. Also, these negotiations establish a
non-contributory 401(k) plan, with the employer having responsibility for
administrative costs and start-up fees.
Among other improvements, the safety shoe/tools/equipment
allowance increases by $20 to reach $140 a year. Employees who have four or
more weeks of vacation may take two weeks one day at a time, expanding
vacation time by one week. The contract contains various language improvements
Local 111 members voted to approve the contract 32 to 28.
The Local 111 negotiating committee members were Pres. Duane
Yaindl, Chief Steward Jim Reph, Paul Krajcirik, middle shift
steward, Sec. Dennis Nagy and Walt Reppert, Gardner South
representative. They were assisted by Intl. Rep. Bruce Klipple and
Field Org. James Tobler.
UE News - 05/01