Local 275 Beats Back
Concessions, Makes Gains
At Viking Aluminum
NEW BRITAIN, Conn.
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 companys 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