|Members of Local 2725 in San Juan, Puerto Rico are all smiles after ratifying a new contract that contained significant pension improvements.|
Twenty-nine members of Local Lodge 2725 in San Juan, Puerto Rico unanimously ratified a new contract with Air Express International, which vastly improved members’ pension benefits.
“The pension was the major issue for these members,” said Southern Territory Grand Lodge Representative Carlos San Miguel. “The pension for these members was frozen several years ago, and three years ago, the IAM was successful in negotiating the IAM National Pension Plan into the contract, with an initial company contribution of 50 cents an hour and rising to $1.75 an hour the third year.”
In the new three-year agreement, the IAM Negotiating Committee improved the pension contributions to $2.25 an hour the first year, $2.75 the second and $3.25 the third year. Health care costs were also kept in check in addition to a minimum two percent general wage increase.
“Our Committee worked very hard. Our Committee Members, William ‘Willie’ Aleman Jr., Francisco C. ‘Charlie’ Feliu, Reynaldo Rivera, and Local Lodge 2725 Business Representative Jose Rodriguez Baez kept the members’ issues on the front burner during negotiations,” said San Miguel. “Our membership was happy, and the contract was accepted with a 100 percent vote.”
“Strong contracts with good pension benefits are a valuable calling card for the IAM as we continue to organize in the Caribbean,” said Southern Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin. “Good wages and benefits are essential ingredients for a rewarding career, but the IAM National Pension Plan is far and away the best way for workers to retire in comfort and security.”