|IAM Coordinated Bargaining Committee members (left to right) Tom Giarusso, Mike Vartabedian, Brian Shaw, Scott Lucy, Brad Warner, John Steigauf (in back), Brad Senn, Steven Vaubel, Chuck Lillo, K. Campbell, Tom O’Heron, Shannon Fluetsch, John Herrig, Greg Heidal, Gary Stickley, Darrell McKenzie, Russell Wade, Bill Sokolik, Rick Mickschl|
Wages, retirement benefits and health care costs were the key issues in contract negotiations for nearly 400 IAM members at five Crown Cork & Seal facilities in La Crosse, WI; Portland, OR; Omaha, NE; Mankato, MN and Olympia, WA.
A Master Agreement, providing uniform contract language in all locations, was ratified by a majority of members voting last week, after the IAM Negotiating Committee unanimously recommended acceptance of the three-year agreement.
The new contract provides for a pair of wage increases, bringing the average hourly pay rate to approximately $23.50. Pension benefits under the multi-employer, IAM National Pension Plan were also increased in the first and third year of the agreement. Health care costs for members and retirees were also addressed in the negotiations, with limited increases.
“This was not an easy negotiation. It was a long and hard discussion on active and retiree medical costs,” said IAM Coordinated Bargaining Director Tom O’Heron. “Like many industries, the can industry has reduced the number of locations where we represent members and capacitized the remaining locations to the point that we now compete with each other to keep work in our locations. This contract provides respectable wages and benefits, but not without a cost to our members.”