IAM Local 2740 members employed at the SAPPI mill in Skowhegan, ME overwhelmingly voted to accept a new three-year contract Thursday evening. District 4 millwrights had unanimously rejected a previous offer, also voting to authorize a strike.
Negotiators were able to win significant improvements after returning to the bargaining table.
“The members decided the first offer from the company was unacceptable,” said IAM District 4 Assistant Directing Business Representative George Edwards. “I’m proud of them for staying unified and sticking together to get what they deserve. They work hard, and they deserve to be treated fairly.”
The new contract includes a one-dollar increase to the pension contribution, and a significant wage increase of 3 percent in the first year, 2.25 percent in the second year, and 2.5 percent in the last year. Negotiators also beat back an attack on the grievance procedure and an attempt by the company to weaken overtime protections.
“My thanks to the leadership shown by Local 2740 and District 4 ADBR George Edwards in this negotiation,” said Directing Business Representative Rick Compher. “Together they’ve demonstrated the leadership and solidarity it takes to win an agreement that sets the industry standard.”
“Our members won this contract by standing strong together. We won our fair share,” said Local 2740 President and Millwright Wes Perry. “It feels like a new day on the shop floor and our members are proud to feel the dignity of standing together.”
“Congratulations to our members at Local 2740 for their solidarity,” said Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro Sr. “Their resolve made the difference in the outcome of this negotiation. Standing together, they fought for what they deserve and what they have earned. In the end, they achieved exactly wat they worked for.”