Make 1998 The Year
The members of amalgamated UE Local 417 employed by Avdel Cherry
Textron decided at a membership meeting in February that 1998 would be the year to get
what they deserved in contract negotiations.
Brushing aside company proposals for insurance co-pay, temporary workers
and an incentive bonus program, the 100 UE members made clear their opposition to
givebacks of any kind. After the first session on March 25, the membership voted to reject
all of the companys demands.
'SHOW ME THE MONEY!'
By mid-April, the plant was covered with stickers and hand-made posters;
members wore stickers daily. On days when negotiating meetings were scheduled, workers
wore T-shirts with the slogan "Show Me the Money."
With expiration of the old agreement only hours away and the
companys proposals withdrawn, Local 417 pressed hard for improvements. Big bosses
from the corporations Connecticut headquarters came into the final session to plead
that there was no more to give.
The contract ratified on April 25 calls for wage increases of 3.5 percent
the first year and 3 percent in each of the remaining years of the three-year agreement.
The pension multiplier will be increased to $19.25 for all years of service in 1998,
$19.50 in 1999 and $19.75 in 2000. Early retirement to be added at reduced pension for
workers aged 55 with 10 years of service.
The contract reduces the impact of the annual plant shutdown on
workers vacations. Improvements are also made in the use of personal days and in
bereavement leave, tool allowance, shoe allowance, training by seniority on new equipment,
job security during department closing and protections on temporary transfers and against
The UE committee consisted of Local Pres. Victor Scuralli, Vince Perrotto,
Jack Wieckowski and Miguel Romero. They were assisted by UE Field Org. Cris Costello.