IAM Local 1580 members have overwhelming ratified a new three-year deal with Dresser-Rand Siemens in Wellsville, NY. The new accord features significant gains, including a 3.5 percent wage increase in the first year of the deal and 3.25 percent in each of the next two years.
IAM members at Dresser-Rand produce steam turbines for government applications such as the Department of Defense nuclear power plants and propulsion aircraft and submarines for the U.S. Navy.
The latest round of talks didn’t come without notable challenges for the IAM Negotiating Committee. Dresser-Rand was recently acquired by Siemens, a German-based engineering company. The timing of the deal, coupled with the finalization of the asset transfer, impacted negotiations tremendously.
“This acquisition in and of itself, a month before scheduled talks, added a host of unknowns into the mix,” said IAM District 65 Assistant Directing Business Representative Ron Warner. “However, this Committee was up to the challenge, as was the IAM Strategic Resources Department. In the 23rd hour of these talks, they delivered health care census data related to these specific 300 members, out of 6,000 Dresser employees. This gave us a great advantage at the bargaining table, and it was nothing short of a stellar performance on their behalf.”
The contract also features improvements in shift differential, vacation, bereavement leave, as well as benefit enhancements for life and disability, along with employee savings in weekly contributions for health care.
“The improvements we made almost overshadowed the fact that the IAM Pension Plan was under attack at the table,” said Warner. “The Committee held the line, not only securing the plan, but making gains of 10, 10, and 5 cents per hour over the life of the agreement. The accolades for this industry-leading deal go to Local 1580 President Jim Lewis, the Negotiating Committee, the membership, and the tireless efforts of Neil Gladstein and Gwen Camp from the IAM Strategic Resources Department. We couldn’t have done our job without the information they generated for us.”
“Congratulations to the members of Local 1580 for standing shoulder-to-shoulder to support the Negotiating Committee,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President Lynn D. Tucker, Jr. “Their message was loud and clear and the proof is in the results. My thanks go to ADBR Warner and the staff of District 65.”