Navigation Bar

Home -> UE News -> 2000 Archives -> Article

Significant Language,
Economic Gains
For Meisner Electricians


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 economic gains.

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 over 50.

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 agreement.

The contract adds paid jury duty leave and a half-day to paid holidays. Step-child and step-parents are added to bereavement leave.


Meisner workers gain dental insurance; the company will pay 75 percent of the cost of the employee premium and 50 percent of the dependent premium.

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 7.2 percent.

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

Home -> UE News -> 2000 Archives -> Article

Home • About UE • Organize! • Independent Unions • Search • Site Guide • What's New • Contact UE
UE News • Political Action • Info for Workers • Resources • Education • Health & Safety • International • Links

Copyright © 2003 UE. All Rights Reserved