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Local 275 Beats Back 
Concessions, Makes Gains
At Viking Aluminum


After nearly two months of working without a contract, UE Local 275 members reached an agreement with Viking Aluminum on July 1. Union members beat back serious concessions, including the elimination of the Martin Luther King holiday, a reduction in vacation time, elimination of the pension plan and a wage freeze. Also, Local 275 rejected an employer refusal to cap health insurance costs.

During negotiations, and while working without a contract since May 6, union members wore stickers and buttons and circulated and signed a petition opposing the concessions. By rejecting the company’s final offer they forced management back to the bargaining table. Indicative of the broad rank-and-file participation, the bargaining committee grew with as many as seven union members sitting at the table.

The contract provides for a 20-cent an hour raise each year for production workers and 30 cents an hour each year of the contract for truck drivers. Union members agreed to pay 20 percent of the health insurance cost, but that figure is locked in for three years starting in the first year of the contract.

The agreement also registers an improvement in the sickness and accident benefit and increases life insurance by $5,000.

The negotiations were led by Ken Pellitier and Tom Osga. They were assisted by Field Org. Paul Ryan.

UE News - 7/03

Home -> UE News -> 2003 Archives -> Article

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