• A comparison of contract settlements for 2013 revealed an average first-year wage increase of 2 percent, a median first-year wage increase of 2 percent, and a weighted average wage increase of 1.9 percent, compared with 1.7 percent, the same 2 percent, and 2.3 percent, respectively, in 2012. The all-settlements average first-year increase to date in 2013 was 2.5 percent, up from 2.1 percent in 2012.
  • The Teamsters Union announced that it reached an agreement with United Parcel Service, Inc. to extend their collective bargaining agreement past its July 31 expiration. The agreement covers 237,000 workers nationwide, who ratified the contract in June but rejected 19 regional supplements that must be approved for the national agreement to be effective. The contract extension is indefinite, but can be terminated by either party upon 30 days notice. The new national agreement provides for increases in wages, pensions, and health and welfare contributions retroactive to August 1, 2013, but will not take effect until the supplement agreements have been ratified.
  • UNITE HERE and Hyatt Hotels Corp. reached a tentative five-year agreement covering 2,800 hotel workers at nine hotels in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Honolulu. Union member ratification of the agreement will end UNITE HERE’s year-long global boycott of Hyatt, and workers will receive wage increases retroactive to 2009 in Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles and to 2010 in Honolulu. Under the agreement, workers also will maintain their existing health care and pension benefits. The agreement also includes an unspecified “fair process” for non-union Hyatt employees to vote on union representation.
  • The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union ratified an agreement with Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., a chicken producer in Alabama. The four-year agreement, covering 1,200 employees, is retroactive to June 15. The agreement includes a pay increase of 25 cents per hour for eligible employees for the first year, and a minimum 15 cents per hour increase during the second, third and fourth years. The contract also includes overtime for all hours over 32 during any week that contains a holiday, additional health care benefits, a formal bidding process based on seniority, establishment of a safety committee, and a formal grievance process.
  • Members of the Air Line Pilots Association ratified a five-year contract with Alaska Airlines. The pilots will receive wage increases of more than 10 percent this year, followed by 1.5 percent increases in both 2014 and 2015, a 3.5 percent increase in 2016, and a 1.5 percent increase in 2017. The agreement also protects the pilots’ retirement and insurance benefits. The union announced that the contract contains improvements over the previous contract in work rules and job security, although no further details were released.
  • After a three-week strike, members of IAM and the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (“IUPAT”) voted to accept new contracts and return to work at Daimler Trucks North America’s North Portland, Oregon plant. IAM represents 520 employees and IUPAT represents 68 at the plant. The Teamsters and SEIU, who together represent about 150 workers, previously accepted agreements with the company but honored the IAM and IUPAT picket lines. The Teamsters and SEIU units were offered the same contract changes received by IAM and IUPAT, which they accepted. The contracts include a wage increase of $1.55 over the 40-month term – 60 cents in the first year, 40 cents in the second year, 30 cents in the third year, and 25 cents effective June 28, 2016. Health care benefits will continue past age 65 for workers who retire before January 1, 2014, but will not be available to workers who retire after that date. Under the new contract, employees will pay increased health care contributions, but the employee health and welfare benefits discontinued by the company during the strike will be restored retroactively.
  • The Amalgamated Transit Union (“ATU”) ratified a four-year agreement with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (“Metro”). The ATU represents 11,000 current and retired Metro employees. The contract is retroactive to July 1, 2012 and expires June 30, 2016. Provisions include a wage freeze for the first year, but increases of 3 and 4 percent in subsequent years, establishment of a random drug and alcohol testing pool and employee contributions to the pension plan.
  • The United Steelworkers reached tentative master contracts covering 15,400 production and maintenance employees at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., BF Goodrich, and Bridgestone plants across the country. The agreement with Goodyear covers 8,500 individuals at six plants; the agreement with BF Goodrich covers 2,400 employees at two plants; and the agreement with Bridgestone covers 4,500 employees at six plants. The Steelworkers had previously identified the union’s main bargaining issues as wages, profit-sharing, plant protection, vacation, productivity, flexibility and unemployment, pension, and health care benefits. In the last contract the Steelworkers negotiated with tire makers, workers did not receive universal wage increases but retained cost-of-living adjustments.
  • The Communications Workers of America reached a tentative agreement with CenturyLink Inc. for a four-year contract that will cover 12,000 employees in 13 states. The contract includes financial benefits for workers, including wage increases and lump-sum payments, as well as non-economic benefits such as limits on contract work and a return of outsourced work. The ratification vote, taking place by mail, is expected to be finished by the end of September. The parties’ previous contract expired on October 6, 2012, but was extended on a daily basis while negotiations were proceeding.