|Front row, from left: District 711 Business Representative Jerry Benson and Local 2544 Vice President James Norris. Back row: Local 2544 President Ronnie Arp and Local 2544 Chief Steward Jeremy Black. Not Pictured: Local 2544 Steward Shawn Thompson.|
The Negotiating Committee for IAM Local 2544 in Loudon, TN, along with staff members from District 711, attended the Negotiation Preparation for Bargaining Committees program at the William W. Winpisinger (WWW) Education and Technology Center.
Local 2544 represents employees at Viskase Corp., which manufactures cellulose casings. Their current contract expires September 30, 2015 and the negotiators made good use of their time at WWW to prepare themselves for a difficult round of negotiations.
The week-long program included training in analyzing the company’s strengths and weaknesses, dealing with potential company tactics, presenting proposals and drafting contract language.
“The week at the Winpisinger Center was very busy for the Committee,” said District 711 Business Representative Jerry Benson. “They started early and worked late every day to have the opportunity to work with people from the IAM National Pension Plan, Benefit Trust and several people from Strategic Resources at the Grand Lodge. The Committee then presented proposals in a mock bargaining session. Local 2544 will be better represented in bargaining because of their Committee’s work and preparation.”