Preparations continue to bargain a second contract for District 751 members at Cadence Giddens in Everett, WA.
In October, Union Stewards and shop floor negotiating committee members Gary Naple, Steven Burch and John Combs joined Business Rep Greg Campos and Chief of Staff Richard Jackson in the Negotiation Preparation class at the IAM’s training facility in Maryland. The intensive week-long program covers all phases of contract negotiations, including surveying members to understand their priorities, formulating those priorities into contract proposals, collective bargaining tactics and scrutinizing the employer’s strength and weaknesses. The class also covers communications, strategic planning, legal issues and several other areas.
The training culminates in a mock negotiation using real issues the committee will bring to the table, with instructors playing the part of hard-nosed company negotiators. The bargaining simulation is designed to give the committee a realistic taste of the often-intense atmosphere at the bargaining table.
“The classes we attended were a true eye-opener to the preparation and skill it takes to have a successful contract negotiation,” said Burch.
“I had a great experience at the W3 center,” said Naple. “The training is intense and demanding, but the take away makes it all worth it. The preparation simulations we ran will provide us with an insight of our negotiations in the near future.”
During the week, the group developed a second, more in-depth prioritizing survey that was distributed at a membership meeting on October 25. The group also drafted a Negotiation Survival Handbook to help members better understand the negotiation process and their role.
The key to successful negotiations is ensuring members are engaged and involved and sending a daily message of unity in support of our union negotiators.