• Bloomberg BNA conducted an analysis of data compiled for all settlements through May 13. BNA found an average first-year wage increase of two percent, a median first-year wage increase of 2 percent, and a weighted average wage increase of 1.8 percent, compared with 1.7 percent, 1.9 percent, and 2.7 percent, respectively, in 2012. The same analysis for settlements through April 29 showed an average wage increase of 2 percent, an average first-year wage increase of 2 percent, and a weighted average of 1.6 percent compared with 1.6 percent, 1.9 percent, and 2.7 percent, respectively, in the comparable period in 2012.
  • Human Resources and Skills Development Canada conducted an analysis of collective bargaining agreements reached in Canada in February. It found an average base rate wage increase of 1.5 percent. This amount was less than the 1.7 percent average for the fourth quarter of 2012 and the 1.7 average reported for the 2012 as a whole. The largest wage growth in February was for the manufacturing sector, reported at 2.6 percent, and the lowest increase was for the social services sector, reported at 1.3 percent.
  • The United Parcel Service Inc. (“UPS”) and UPS Freight have reached a tentative, national agreement with the Teamsters. The five-year contract covers some 250,000 package and freight workers and would be the largest collective bargaining agreement in North America. UPS wages would increase $3.90 over the term and UPS Freight wages would increase $2.50. UPS pension benefits would also increase. The agreement is subject to the ratification by the membership.
  • Ninety percent of the voting members of the Industrial Technical Professional Employees Union voted to ratify a contract with Yellow-Checker-Star Transportation in Las Vegas. The vote ended a 60-day strike, which began March 3 after several months of negotiations. Under the new contract, taxi drivers will receive an increase in their percentage of the metered fare and shift flexibility. The parties also agreed to drop unfair labor practice charges they had filed with the NLRB.
  • A five-year tentative agreement between the Teamsters and ABF Freight System Inc. (“ABF”) was unanimously endorsed by 160 local union leaders and sent to members for ratification. The agreement includes cuts to wages and benefits, but restricts the transfer of bargaining unit work and gives the Teamsters the right to audit ABF’s finances to ensure compliance with the parties’ agreement. This contract replaces the National Master Freight Agreement (“NMFA”), which expired March 31 and had been extended twice as the parties negotiated. ABF announced in 2012 that it was withdrawing from the NMFA and would negotiate its own contracts this year.
  • Clerks and meat department employees in 109 Kroger Co. stores in southeast Texas are currently working under a new three-year contract. The employees are members of the UFCW Local 455. The new contract covers 13,729 workers, includes wage increases, and maintains previously secured health care benefits that are now in line with the Affordable Care Act. The agreement also reintroduces the “journeyman” classification with a new name, full-time apprentice, and a built-in wage increase. The new contract also expands health care coverage for 10 to 15 percent of workers, extending care to the dependents of part-time workers working more than 30 hours a week.
  • A majority of the members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (“IBEW”) Local 21 ratified a four-year contract with AT&T Inc., covering 6,500 wireline workers employed nationwide for the company. The new contract increases employee health care costs, but also increases job security, while providing general wage increases and a $1,000 ratification bonus.
  • ShopRite workers in the Philadelphia area ratified a two-year contract. The 2,300 workers are represented by UFCW. The new contract increases wages and requires increased employer payments to the health and welfare fund. The contract, including the wage increases, is retroactive to May 10, 2012.
  • Members of Communications Workers of America District 9 voted two-to-one to ratify a four-year collective bargaining agreement with AT&T. The agreement covers 17,000 wireline employees in California and Nevada. Under the contract a 2.25 percent wage increase is retroactive to October 2012. Other wage increases become effective in later years of the contract. The contract also includes increased pension and increased employee health care contributions.
  • Caterpillar Inc. and the United Steelworkers Local 1343 reached a tentative agreement covering 803 workers at a mining equipment manufacturing facility in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Details of the tentative six-year contract have not been released, pending a vote scheduled for June 11, 2013. The parties’ previous contract expired on April 30, and bargaining unit workers voted to reject an earlier proposal. The South Milwaukee workers were employed by Bucyrus International Inc. until July 2011, when Caterpillar purchased Bucyrus.
  • Narrowly avoiding a planned strike, UMass Memorial Medical Center and the Massachusetts Nurses Association reached a tentative agreement covering approximately 1,100 registered nurses. Under the contract, which would last until April 2015, the nurses would generally not be required to handle more than five patients at a time. The tentative contract also provides for reduced pension benefits, wage increases of 1 percent per year, and vacation time maintained at previous levels.
  • Employees of a New York City car wash voted to ratify a three-year contract, which is believed to be the first contract in the industry outside of California. The employees, who are represented by the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union, work for the Hi-Tek Car Wash & Lube in Queens. The contract provides for increased wages, equitable distribution of hours and overtime, paid sick and personal days, and unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child, bereavement, weddings, or visits to workers’ home countries.