While final picket line preparations were underway, a tentative agreement was reached between IAM Local 1953 in Winnipeg, MN and Motor Coach Industries (MCI).
“There’s no doubt that the reality of a strike was the key in getting this deal done,” explained IAM Grand Lodge Representative Brian Short. “Everything was very fluid during this last minute bargaining. The company couldn’t reach their financial officer who would make the economic decisions because he was on a flight somewhere and our committee adjourned to make strike preparations. An hour later the company submitted another offer and we reached a tentative deal 15 minutes before the picket line was set to go up.
“The bottom line,” said Short, “was that they moved more in a couple of hours than they did in months of bargaining.” The membership ratified the agreement by a margin of 86 per cent.
The three-year agreement provides wages increases of three per cent in the first year retroactive to January 31, 2012, three per cent in the second years and three per cent in the third year. Other agreement highlights include: company pension contributions increased by .5 per cent; pension bridging will increase by $8.00 per month per years of service; pension bridging cap of 35 years is removed; life insurance increased by $5,000; vision care increased by $50.00 and improved vacation scheduling.
The 550 members at MCI manufacture motor coaches for the North American market.