• The Transport Workers Union and American Eagle, an AMR Corp. subsidiary, reached a tentative, four-year agreement covering 2,140 fleet service workers. The agreement provides a $16 per hour wage for clerks with 12 or more years of service and crew chiefs would receive additional hourly increases. Workers with 4 to 11 years will receive a $500 signing bonus and new employees will receive $250. Part-time workers will receive improved health care benefits. If ratified (a vote is scheduled for mid-September), the fleet service workers at American Eagle will be among the highest paid regional carrier, on par with comparable employees at Chautauqua and SkyWest Airlines.
  • UAW Local 571 members at General Dynamic Corp.’s Electric Boat division in Groton, Connecticut approved a 75-month contract that covers approximately 1,900 workers. Members received a $1,500 signing bonus in August and will receive a second $1,000 bonus in January, along with 3% wage increase each year of the contract except the final year, when wages increase 3.25%. Under these terms, design employee wages will rise from $27.14 to $32.48 and administrative employees will increase from $20.19 to $25.05. Monthly pension payments will also increase by $4 per month per year of service, but new hires and rehires will not receive a pension. The contract also includes matching contributions for employee 401(k)s on the first 6% of pay. Medical benefits were adjusted to require an up-front deductible with a 90/10 co-pay for other services and increases the cost of prescription drugs.
  • UNITE HERE Local 483 members have ratified a five-year contract with Hyatt Hotels covering 400 employees at two Monterey, California hotels. Wages will increase nearly 20% during the term of the contract, with non-tipped employee wages rising by $2.65, and employees will continue to receive health care benefits with making premium contributions. Employer contributions to the defined benefit pension fund will increase five cents per year over the current payment of 47 cents per hour. This marks the first renewal contract reached between UNITE HERE and Hyatt, with many more throughout the U.S. and Canada in negotiation.
  • UNITE HERE members also ratified a three-year nationwide contract covering 2,100 employees of Delaware North Company Travel Hospitality Services who work at the company’s food concessions and restaurants in 15 airports. Wages were not part of the national contract negotiations and will be negotiated locally as part of supplemental agreements. Employees will receive medical, dental, and vision benefits through the HERE International Union Health and Welfare Fund, and the new terms provide for expanded paid time off.
  • Postdoctoral researchers at the University of California, represented by Postdoctoral Researchers Organize/UAW, ratified a five-year contract covering more than 6,500 postdoctoral researchers. The contract calls for researchers making less than $47,000 per year to receive minimum 3% annual raises and those making more than $47,000 to annual raise ranging from 1.5% to 2%. Benefits and premium costs will remain the same until 2012 when researchers will pay more for benefits if the university and union are not able to agree on cost-saving measures. The contract also establishes minimum one-year appointments, with limited exceptions, and defines the conditions under which an employee can be laid off and resulting compensation.
  • Members of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers locals in four Michigan Sugar Co. plant and warehouse locations ratified a five-year contract covering 600 employees that will increase wages 14.5% over term and add a $400 per month cafeteria plan for employees working more than 1,600 hours per year that can be taken as cash or used to pay for health care coverage, contributions to a 401(k) account, or long-term disability insurance. Health care coverage remains unchanged, which includes an option with no employee premium contribution. The defined benefit pension plan for regular employees will increase $1 per year in the first two years, and the company will increase its 401(k) match.
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers members ratified a three-year contract covering 1,800 Oregon and Washington employees of Frontier Communications Corporation. Members will receive annual hourly wage increases of 2.75% and Frontier will continue to pay health care premiums with no required employee contribution throughout the terms. Also, Frontier will pay $345 per year of service for new hires’ retiree health care to a maximum of $10,500 for retirees with 30 years of service. However, existing employees with 30 years of service at retirement will receive 90% of retiree health care costs.
  • AT&T and Communications Workers of America Local 1298 tentatively agreed to the terms of two similar three-year collective bargaining agreements that would cover 3,600 employees throughout Connecticut. If ratified, the agreements would be the last of seven contracts to be approved by CWA members in AT&T bargaining units across the country. From the CWA’s prospective, a primary purpose of the negotiations was to ensure that jobs would remain in Connecticut and the tentative agreement provides that 84% of non-customer-facing positions would remain in-state. The terms provide 3% wage increases in each of the first two years and a 2.75% increase plus a cost of living adjustment in the final year. Health care plans remain intact until next year, when workers will then pay a monthly premium of $35 for individual coverage and $75 for a family.
  • Tropicana Casino and Resort dealers in Atlantic City ratified a first contract spanning five years and covering 700 dealers that will provide an 18% hourly wage increase over the term of the contract. Ratification occurred three years after the dealers elected the UAW as their bargaining representative and is the first contract to be entered among four Atlantic City casinos where UAW organized thousands of dealers in 2007.
  • Collective bargaining data compiled by BNA during the first half of 2010 shows a decline in average wage increase in all sectors. The all-settlements average first-year wage increase was 1.6%, down .9% for the comparable period in 2009. When lump-sum payments are factored, the increase rose to 1.9%, down from 2.8% the previous year. The all-settlements average increase, excluding government construction contracts, was 2%, compared to 2.7% for 2009. The average increase for manufacturing contracts decreased from the 2009 amount by .8% to 1.2%. Excluding construction, the nonmanufacturing average increase was 2.4%, down from 3%. Construction contracts averaged an increase of only .2%, down from 2%. State and local government contracts increased by an average of 1.2%, as compared to 2.3% in 2009.
  • Major contracts reached in Canada during the second quarter of 2010 produced an average base wage increase of 2%, down slightly from 2.1% in the first quarter. The average for 2009 as a whole was 2.4%. The data was based on 74 contracts covering 195,550 employees, 26.8% of whom experienced a wage freeze; 44.6% received an increase from 2%-2.9% and 17% received an increase 3% or greater. The private sector saw greater increases from the four previous quarters, up to 2.5%, which matches the average increase in the construction industry.