Washington State IAM Members Win Milestone Arbitration Case

IAM members at Simpson Lumber in western Washington state are celebrating a landmark arbitration ruling that protects bargaining unit jobs by returning duties to union safety coordinators after the company had eliminated the position and given its duties to a salaried “safety supervisor.”

An arbitrator ruled that the company violated its collective bargaining agreement with IAM District W24, Local W536 members at its plants in Shelton, Tacoma and Longview.

“This case is very significant and a major victory for our membership,” said IAM Woodworkers Chief of Staff Mike Rose. “District W24 Business Representative Ron Teigen, Labor Advocate Marvin Abott and Local W536 Chief Steward Ian Ford forwarded this grievance to arbitration. To their credit, excellent fact checking and date collection led us to victory and the grievance is sustained.”

The company has 21 days to determine what duties its salaried employee inherited from IAM members and return them to the bargaining unit.