Local 888 members ratified a new three-year agreement with
Newton-based electrical contractor Meisner Electric, Inc. at meetings
conducted May 2-3 at worksites throughout central and eastern Iowa. The vote
was 41 to nine in favor of acceptance.
Through leaflets and regular communications, the bargaining
committee kept members at the various worksites informed about the progress
— or lack of it — at the table. So when the company failed to move beyond
1 percent wage increases or drop concessions on health insurance, workers
voted overwhelmingly to give the committee authorization to call a strike.
The company relented. The settlement reached before the May 1
expiration of the previous contract contained both important language and
As a result, qualified journeyman electricians will now
automatically receive the journeyman’s rate. Previously, prior contractor
approval for a rate increase was required.
To help bring in new members, the union will now have the
right to furnish a "welcome packet" at orientation for new hires.
The probationary period is reduced from 180 to 120 days.
A $1 night-shift premium will now apply to all worksites. In
the past, it was applied only to the Cargill industrial site. Double time will
be paid for all hours worked on holidays.
A clearly worded clause replaces vague language on mileage
reimbursement, employer-provided out-of-town accommodations and per diem.
Mileage reimbursement is increased from 20 to 30 cents for all miles driven
The company match on the retirement 401(k) plan will increase
over the next three years. Currently the company matches on 25 percent of
employees’ first 5 percent. That will increase to 30 percent the first year,
35 percent the second and 40 percent in the third year covered by the
The contract adds paid jury duty leave and a half-day to paid
holidays. Step-child and step-parents are added to bereavement leave.
DENTAL PLAN, WAGES
Meisner workers gain dental insurance; the company will pay 75
percent of the cost of the employee premium and 50 percent of the dependent
Journeyman-without-license base rates increase 40 cents, 60
cents and 60 cents an hour, or 10.2 percent over the three years.
Journeyman-with-license base rates go up 40 cents, 60 cents and 70 cents an
hour, or 10 percent. Base rates, the highest pay rates, for journeymen working
at the Cargill worksite increases 10 cents, 60 cents and 70 cents an hour, or
The UE Local 888 negotiating committee consisted of Pres. John
Ross, Fin. Sec. Dwight Diltz, Ron Hamlin, Jason Jenkins, Dennis
Strickler, Marion Rouse and Darrel Argo. They were assisted by
Field Org. Ryan Downing.
UE News - 07/00