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Local 1107 Takes
Strong Stand
In Talks
With New Owner


The Local 1107 negotiators: Bush, Bluell, Zaleski and Renner
The Local 1107 negotiators, from left, Glenn Bush, Mike Bluell, Mary Ann Zaleski and Virjean Renner.

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 hours.

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 eliminated.

International Support

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 Swiertz.

UE News - 12/99

Home -> UE News -> 1999 Archives -> Article

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