Local 1107 Takes
With New Owner
The Local 1107
negotiators, from left, Glenn Bush, Mike Bluell, Mary Ann Zaleski and
In negotiations this fall UE Local 1107 faced a major assault
on seniority as well as company demands for significant changes in job
classifications. This was the UE local’s first time at the bargaining table
since Farnam Sealing was acquired by a German-Japanese partnership.
Local 1107 members took a strong stand in defense of
seniority, finding ways to put pressure on the company every day.
In the end, the UE local concluded a contract that preserves
seniority while requiring the company to pay for skills development.
Rank-and-File Support Key Element
"I think this is a very good contract, but it couldn’t
have been done without the rank and file activity on the shop floor,"
says Local Pres. Glenn Bush. "Keeping pressure on the company was
crucial in these very intense negotiations."
In the first year wages increase by an average of 5.8 percent.
Wage increases of 3.5 percent and 3.4 percent are scheduled for the second and
third years, respectively.
The pension benefit will be increased by 22 percent during the
life of the contract.
Farnam workers gain a third week of vacation after eight
years. Vacation eligibility is improved by lowering the number of pro-rated
Life insurance is increased. For the first time, the company
will pay for safety glasses.
The company agrees to train workers for open jobs before the
jobs are posted, and will provide workers with training before new jobs come
into the plant. The contract also guarantees rate retention should jobs be
During negotiations Local 1107 received the backing of the
Freudenberg European Works Council, which consists of elected workers’
representatives employed by Farnam’s German-based parent company. Farnam was
acquired by a partnership between Freudenberg and the Japanese company NOK.
Local Pres. Bush and UE Dir. of Org. Bob Kingsley attended a meeting
of the Freudenberg European Works Council in Brussels, Belgium in October.
The UE Local 1107 negotiating committee consisted of Glenn
Bush, Mike Bluell, Mary Ann Zaleski and Virgean Renner. They
were assisted by UE District 11 Pres. Carl Rosen and UE Field Org. Lynn
UE News - 12/99