District 4 Committee Prepares for Bargaining with IKEA

(Left to right around the table) District 4 ADBR Dave Sullivan, District 4 BR John Stillwell, Committee Members Bill Shrewsbery, Joshua Shuler, George Miller, John Jackson, Jeff Corker and Justin Berrell, District 4 ADBR Rick Compher and District 4 DBR Joe Flanders.

Members of the IAM bargaining committee at the recently organized IKEA facility in Perryville, MD are preparing for upcoming negotiations on their first contract with the giant furniture company. The 400 new IAM members at the IKEA Distribution Center in Maryland receive and ship IKEA products to every IKEA store in the United States east of the Mississippi River. The facility is the largest IKEA Distribution Center in North America.

The Negotiating Committee met recently at the William W. Winpisinger Center to train, plan and build negotiating strategies for the upcoming talks. The Center’s week-long Negotiation Preparation for Bargaining Committees class fit the bill for the Committee, providing training in proposal analysis, labor law and collective bargaining tactics.

The week culminated in a negotiations simulation. “It doesn’t seem like a simulation,” said District 4 Directing Business Representative Joe Flanders. “It’s tough, and you feel the same as you do in actual negotiations. It’s quite realistic.”

Winpisinger Center Director Chris Wagoner filled the role of company representative.

“Chris does a great job of acting the role of a tough company negotiator,” said Committee Chairman Justin Berrell. “The newly-elected members of the Committee now have a feel for what it’s like at the table. The Committee developed a plan and strategy and developed our proposals for these negotiations during our week at the Harbor. We’re ready for these important negotiations.” 

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