‘Solidarity Lunch Walks’ Help Milwaukee Members Secure New Contract

It took six long weeks for Milwaukee IAM Local 66 and Boilermakers Local 1503 to hammer out a joint agreement with the Perlick Corporation. The membership’s creative show of solidarity is what finally got the company talking.

Read their story in the latest edition of the Local 66 Badger Lodge News.

Leading up to negotiations the membership made it clear they would not accept unreasonable demands and concessions from management. The committee deployed “Solidarity Stewards” to keep members on the shop floor informed on its progress.

A member proposed an idea that workers could show solidarity by taking lunchtime “walks” in front of the company’s facility. Without strike signs or fanfare, members were able to show Perlick management that the bargaining committee had the member’s support.

The company was unable to ignore the show of solidarity and a fair three-year contract was reached. The bargaining committee acknowledged they would not have been able to achieve the success without the members’ show of solidarity. 

“This victory shows once again that the real power at the bargaining table comes from the support, solidarity and collective action of our great members,” said IAM District 10 Directing Business Representative Alex Hoekstra.

READ: When the members started walking, the company started talking

Local 66 members employed at Perlick manufacture bar and beverage systems, including custom refrigeration equipment, under bar units, beer dispensing equipment and brewery fittings.