Members of the IAM Local Lodge W260 Bargaining Committee last week participated in a Field Negotiations Prep Class in Alpena, MI in preparation for their upcoming negotiations with Decorative Panels International (DPI).
The four-day training was part of the IAM’s Negotiation Preparation Field Program.
The program, which adhered to all COVID safety protocols, provided the bargaining committee with the tools needed to help devise and develop a strategic negotiating plan. Training topics included how to draft contract language, present proposals, analyze the company’s strengths and weaknesses and communicate with its members. The week concluded with the group giving a bargaining presentation, a facet of the class created to give the bargaining committee a simulation of the atmosphere at the bargaining table.
“It was incredible to see six members with bargaining experience ranging from newly appointed to seasoned, within the course of a week, meld into one shared voice,” said Assistant Directing Business Representative Jeff McLeod. “Our members were told of all the resources they had available to them, but to see and engage in conversations with Brother Haller from the Legal Department, Brother Hurst from Strategic Resources and Sister Frietchen and Brother Wagoner from the Winpisinger Center really personalized these departments and demonstrated to our group the power that stands with them. The members embraced this training, and by week’s end, displayed a united front that was ready to take on negotiations with confidence.”
“I was super nervous about this upcoming contract, then we did the class and felt like I was ready for whatever the company was going to throw at us,” said Local W260 Chief Steward Don Sheldon. “Chris Wagoner and his staff did an amazing job at getting us prepared in the short amount of time we had.”
“The Alpena mill maintains an enormous presence in the city,” added McLeod. “I’d want to thank the members for the sacrifices they make to support and advance the livelihood of the entire bargaining unit, which helps to support all the people of this northern Michigan city.”
In additional to its Negotiation Preparation for Bargaining Committees Program held at the Winpisinger Center (W3), currently closed due to COVID restrictions, the W3 Center initiated its field training program in an effort to provide a more adaptable format for negotiating committees, stewards and members. The program is not designed to replace the Winpisinger-based Negotiation Prep program, but to better accommodate for situations where field negotiation preparation is the better option.