Members of IAM Local 2068 have reached an agreement with Silgan Containers, bringing to end a nearly six-week strike in Rochelle, IL.
The strike took effect just after midnight Saturday, December 8, 2018 when members voted down the company’s original contract offer because of its failure to address a more than 10-year stagnation in wages and unprecedented changes in benefits.
The new three-year deal includes improvements in overall wage increases and the ability to maintain long-term disability premiums for one year.
“At the end of the day, it was improvements in those key areas throughout the term of the contract that turned this from a negative agreement to a positive agreement,” said IAM Local 2068 President Rick Pease. “Although it wasn’t everything we fought for, the majority voted to accept the offer. On behalf of IAM Local 2068, I’d like to thank our entire union and fellow brothers and sisters in labor for their continuous show of solidarity. All of the support shown was greatly appreciated.”
Silgan is the largest metal food packaging company in North America and Europe, and had just announced record third quarter earnings in the months leading into the strike.
“It was the strength and resolve of our members that secured better pay, security and benefits for the future contract,” said IAM District 8 Directing Business Representative Steve Jones. “It was truly a privilege to represent such a solid and resourceful group.”
“Congratulations to the members of IAM Local 2068, President Rick Pease, IAM District 8 Business Representative Bill Broughton and the entire Bargaining Committee on the improvements gained as a result of this standstill,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “This is what happens when workers unite and refuse to back down from what we know to be fair and just. This is a victory for you, your families and every working man and woman in the country. Your union is very proud.”
“I am so proud of our Local 2068 Brothers and Sisters,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “You have shown this company, our union and working people everywhere what solidarity and strength can accomplish. The Fighting Machinists are getting bolder and more aggressive by the day and this is just the latest example of our new direction. I am especially thankful for the bargaining committee and the leadership of Local 2068, District 8 and the Midwest Territory for making this victory possible.”