Illinois Machinist Returns to Work with $70K Back Pay

IAM District 9, Local 660 member LaShawn Buford, center, stands with Michelle Windmiller, Committee Chairperson for Production Workers at Olin Corporation, left, and IAM District 9 Business Representative/Organizer Jason Tetidrick, right, while holding a check for $70,932.51 in back pay after being wrongfully discharged from his job in 2012.

An IAM District 9 and Local 660 member who was unfairly terminated from his job in June 2012, is back at work today – thanks to his union contract, he says.

LaShawn Buford was returned to work and made whole at Olin Corporation located in East Alton, Illinois after being discharged for allegedly impeding production. The total awarded for his wrongful termination grievance totaled $70,932.51.
 
When asked by his co-workers how he got his job back, Buford proudly said, “The Union did it all for me.”

Upon his termination, District 9 filed a grievance on Buford’s behalf. District 9 Business Representative/Organizer Jason Tetidrick went to arbitration after the employer denied the grievance.

The Arbitrator ruled in favor of the IAM affirming that the Olin Corporation did not have just cause to discharge Buford, and awarded that he be reinstated and made whole for all losses sustained as a result of his termination.

When the IAM met with the company to calculate back pay and all other benefits to which Buford was entitled, the company attempted to reinstate Buford in a lower-paying classification.

The IAM requested the Arbitrator retain jurisdiction in this matter for 90 days. During this time, the union further requested clarification from the Arbitrator on his decision.

Once again, the Arbitrator ruled in favor of the IAM and ordered Buford be returned to the same job classification from which he was terminated.
 
Buford was awarded all lost wages, including any overtime the department had been scheduled to work. In addition to the lost wages, the company was also responsible for reimbursing Buford’s out-of-pocket costs to cover medical and dental insurance, the company’s 401(k) match, as well as the company’s contribution to the defined benefit Pension Plan, vacation and safety bonus.