• Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655 ratified a three-year contract with three St. Louis-area grocery store chains. The agreement, which covers 9,000 workers in at Schnucks, Dierbergs, and Shop ’n Save stores, includes wage increases of 20 cents per hour in the second year of the agreement and 30 cents per hour in the third year. Workers will also receive bonuses in the first year of the contract. In addition, the contract maintains current health and welfare benefits, though employees’ weekly contributions to health care premiums will rise $4 each year of the contract.
  • The University of California and United Auto Workers Local 2865 reached a tentative collective bargaining agreement covering 11,000 academic student employees, including part-time teaching assistants, graduate student instructors, readers, and graders. The terms agreement, which is effective from the date of ratification through Sept. 30, 2013, includes wage increases of 2% annually, with possible additional wage increases in the latter two years of the contract if there is an increase in state funding. The agreement also nearly triples the amount of child care expenses that may be reimbursed to employees and provides for partial tuition remission for out-of-state employees.
  • The UAW and Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. settled a first contract covering 800 dealers at Caesars Atlantic City casino. Although details of the contract were not provided, Harrah’s said it was comparable to a contract reached earlier this year between the UAW and Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, which provides for an 18% hourly wage increase over the five-year term. The UAW and Harrah’s bargained for over three and a half years, a period that featured contentious bargaining, as well as pressure from New Jersey politicians.
  • UAW members employed by Navistar International Corp. ratified a four-year contract covering 2,000 employees in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Texas. The agreement provides for a $1,000 ratification bonus and 3% lump-sum payments in the first year of the contract and in 2012; 1% wage increases in 2011 and 2013; annual lump-sum payments in lieu of a profit-sharing plan; a $17,500 retirement incentive for employees who are eligible to retire and a $17,500 buyout incentive for other employees who leave the company; and the elimination of retiree health care and defined-benefit pension plan benefits for new hires. Under the agreement Navistar, which manufactures heavy- and medium-duty trucks and diesel engines, will also invest $80 million in its Melrose Park, Ill. plant to add a test and validation center to develop new product models.
  • Hospital and the Professional Employee Council at Sparrow Hospital, an affiliate of the Michigan Nurses Association, tentatively agreed on a new three-year contract covering 2,100 health care workers at several facilities in and near Lansing, Mich. The agreement averts a potential strike, which union members had authorized, and a threatened lockout by the hospital. Although details were not released pending ratification, the hospital said the agreement increases nurse staffing levels, provides for a modest increase in wages, and alters health and retirement programs.
  • After six years of negotiations, AirTran Airways pilots represented by the Air Line Pilots Association ratified a five-year collective bargaining agreement that provides for immediate and annual pay increases for more than 1,700 pilots, enhances their benefits, and provides for strict limitations on outsourced flying. Southwest Airlines’ announcement this fall that it would acquire AirTran spurred the parties to settle before the AirTran pilots are integrated into the contract for Southwest pilots.
  • The Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists tentatively agreed on a three-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The agreement, which covers films and prime-time and pay-television programs, includes a 2% annual wage increase and a 10% increase in employer contributions to the two unions’ pension and retiree health funds.
  • Members of the International Association of Machinists ratified a five-year collective bargaining agreement with Amtrak covering about 600 workers. The agreement, which is similar to those Amtrak reached with several other unions earlier this year, provides for a 14% wage increase over term and requires employees to contribute 15% toward the cost of their health care plan, subject to a cap.
  • Members of seven UAW locals in Indiana, Michigan, and Alabama ratified a five-year contract with auto parts supplier JCIM LLC. The national agreement, which covers 2,400 workers, provides terms and conditions of employment except wages and wage-related economic issues, which are negotiated locally. Under the agreement, workers’ health care premium contribution costs will increase slightly; workers will no longer be required to take vacation leave when plants shut down, but rather may receive unemployment insurance benefits; a new long-term disability insurance benefit will be offered; and a new job security measure for employees who are relocating provides for preferential hiring at other JCIM plants.
  • Continental Airlines mechanics represented by the Teamsters Airline Division ratified a new collective bargaining agreement that is effective retroactively from Jan. 1, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2012. The contract covers 3,700 employees, and it provides for wage increases, longevity and shift premiums, signing bonuses, an increase in the number of floating holidays, and medical benefits for technicians on military leave for one year.
  • Continental Airlines and the Teamsters reached a tentative agreement on a first labor contract covering 7,600 fleet service workers. If ratified, the agreement would be retroactive to July 1, 2010, and would provide four wage increases over the next 30 months for a total increase of 10.5% over term, strong job security language, profit sharing, shift differential pay, longevity premium increases, and improved displacement and grievance procedures.
  • According to a BNA analysis of collective bargaining data for all settlements reported through Nov. 15, the average first-year wage increase was 1.7%, compared with 2.4% for the same period in 2009. Excluding construction and state and local government contracts, the all-settlements average increase was 2.1%, compared with 2.6% a year ago. The average increase for manufacturing was 1.1%, compared with 1.8% in 2009; the non-manufacturing (excluding construction) average increase was 2.5%, compared with 3% in 2009; and the average increase for construction agreements was 0.7%, compared with 1.8% in 2009. Factoring in lump-sum payments, the all-settlements average first-year wage increase was 1.9%, compared with 2.6% for the same period in 2009.
  • An analysis of 54 major collective bargaining agreements covering 332,560 employees reached in Canada during the third quarter of 2010 contained average increases in the base wage rate of 1.8%, down from 2% in the second quarter and 2.1% in the first quarter. The 1.8% figure was lower than the average year-to-date figure of 2% and the 2.4% average for 2009. Private-sector agreements reached in the third quarter contained an average annual wage increase of 2.2%, while public-sector agreements produced average annual wage increases of 1.3%. The largest average annual wage increases for the third quarter were in primary industries (3.5%), construction (2.3%), and transportation (1.8%).