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Pensions Preserved for Machinists at Arnprior Aerospace

Thu. June 02, 2011

Members of Local 1542 in Arnprior, ON, recently concluded contract negotiations with Arnprior Aerospace and were able to turn back company proposals that sought to reduce wages, cut holidays and eliminate pensions for current and future employees.

Despite assistance from a provincial mediator, the company continued to propose terms that eliminated pensions for new hires as well as severe penalties for early retirees. Following a recommendation from their Bargaining Committee, members of Local 1542 rejected the company proposal and voted overwhelmingly to strike.

Following the strike vote, the company requested additional bargaining. The Local Committee agreed, but rejected any delay in the strike. After a single day of talks, the IAM and the Company reached a new tentative agreement that contained no wage cuts, no takeaways to the defined benefit pension and status quo on all other elements of the agreement. Most important, the new agreement ensured new members would be eligible for the defined pension plan.

“The Local 1542 Committee was committed to our membership, and the Company was committed to takeaways,” said Aerospace Coordinator Mark Blondin, who assisted the committee throughout the negotiations. “This contract would not have been possible if not for GLR Bill Shipman and a strong committee who were passionate about their community and cognizant about the broader impact of the proposed cuts. Hopefully, our membership can build on this win and sustain pension plans throughout North America.”