• Teamsters leadership has unanimously endorsed a concessionary modification of a proposed national contract with YRC Worldwide, Inc. in order to protect the jobs of its approximately 37,000 members in the trucking industry. The concessions include a 15 percent total reduction in gross wages from terms originally agreed to in the current contract. The tentative agreement is expected to generate $350 million in savings for YRC and would extend the current expiration date.
  • The International Longshoremen’s Association voted to accept a two-year concessionary contract with the Hampton Roads Shipping Association. The local port agreement, which covers the Hampton Roads, Virginia port, lowers wages for the 1,800 covered workers who load and unload “break-bulk” shipments of noncontainerized cargo. The contract is expected to attract more cargo to the Port of Hampton Roads in order to make it more competitive.
  • The Washington Hospital Center of DC implemented key portions of its “last and best” contract offer for 1,600 nurses represented by Nurses United. On January 1, 2011, the nurses will be covered under the same health insurance plan that covers non-bargaining unit employees. The hospital also implemented a “cash balance” retirement savings plan and made “market adjustments” in the paid-time-off program.
  • United Food and Commercial Workers Local 455 members ratified a three-year collective bargaining agreement with Kroger Co. The agreement covers 13,000 Kroger clerks and meat department employees in the Houston, Beaumont, Bryan, College Station, and Nacogdoches areas of Texas. The agreement provides for hourly wage increases for the employees, more flexibility in scheduling time off, elimination of blackout weeks for vacations, and unlimited preventive heath care coverage beginning in 2011. Employee contributions to health care premiums will remain unchanged.
  • 1,600 production and maintenance employees at Kraft Foods’ Davenport, Iowa, facility are working under a new four-year collective bargaining agreement. The agreement with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 431 provides wage increases of $1.20/hour over term a $1,000 ratification bonus, and the defined benefit pension plan formula will increase by $3 per month per year of service. The Company dropped its effort to expand alternative work schedules at the plant, such as 12-hour workdays.
  • BNA’s analysis of collective bargaining data showed that the average first-year wage hike was 1.7 percent, down from 2.4 percent in 2009. The median first-year increase for settlements in 2010 was 1.6 percent, down from 2.8 percent in 2009. Similarly, manufacturing agreements increased on average by 1.3 percent, down from 1.9 percent in 2009. When lump-sum payments were factored into wage calculations, the all-settlements average first-year increase was 2 percent, also down from 2.7 percent in 2009. The third-year average increase was 2.4 percent, compared with 2.7 percent in 2009.
  • Members of Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ ratified a 4-year labor agreement with the owners group representing apartment building owners in New York. The agreement covers roughly 1,400 building service employees, including building superintendents, janitors, handymen, porters, doormen, and elevator operators. The agreement protects the employer-paid family health care coverage and increases wages more than 6 percent over term.
  • Several California Teamsters locals representing 5,700 warehouse employees and drivers at distribution centers, manufacturing facilities, and offices of Ralphs Grocery Co., Vons, Albertsons LLC, and Unified Grocers Inc. ratified new five-year contracts. The contracts provide for retroactive wage increases and an additional 12 percent increase in employer contributions to defined benefit pension plans over term, and the companies also agreed to continue providing 100 percent of the cost of health insurance premiums.
  • International Association of Mechanists Local Lodge 7333 rejected a seven-year contract offer from Hawker Beechcraft Corp. The contract would have provided job protection for approximately 1,700 jobs, in exchange for a 10 percent wage cut and elimination of 821 positions. The IAM recommended ratification, stating that it was “the best possible outcome for the membership in a very bad situation.” The vote took place two weeks after contract negotiations were placed on hold so that Hawker could consider an offer from Louisiana to move its manufacturing operations from Kansas to Louisiana.
  • Members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1564 ratified a four-year collective bargaining agreement at 26 Smith’s stores. The contract provides for a combination of bonuses and wage increases, along with 100 percent coverage for preventive health procedures such as mammograms, annual physical exams, and colonoscopies. Workers will be required to contribute to health care premiums, and Smith’s will increase its contributions to employee pensions.
  • Members of United Auto Workers Local 5287 voted to approve a four-year contract, covering more than 1,000 North Carolina-based employees of Thomas Built Buses Inc., a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC. The contract provides for a two percent lump sum payment upon ratification, an increase in hourly wages, and a compression of the pay progression scale, resulting in a higher wage level for new hires.
  • Members of the United Auto Workers voted to approve a five-year labor contract with General Dynamics Land Systems. The contract provides for increased wages, lump-sum payments, fully employer-paid health care benefits, and an expansion of pensions for production, maintenance, technical, office, and clerical workers. The contract covers 1,500 employees who build military equipment in the company’s Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania facilities.
  • Members of the Massachusetts Nurses Association ratified five-year contracts with four Caritas Christi Health Care hospitals. The four contracts provide for a uniform paid leave system for 1,700 nurses, pay hikes, a wage reopener in the fifth year, and an agreement on management neutrality in any future MNA efforts to organize employees at two nonunion hospitals in the Caritas system. The contracts also establish a multiemployer, defined benefit pension plan, switching from a 403(b) defined contribution plan to a jointly administered Taft-Hartley multiemployer trust.
  • Collective bargaining agreements reached in Canada during the month of August had 1.5 percent average wage increases, compared to 2.0 percent in July. The August average was also down from 2.3 percent in May to 2.2 percent. The private sector agreements reached during the month of August showed a 1.9 percent gain, compared to 2.2 percent in July. Public sector agreements in August produced annual wage increases of 1.4 percent, up from 1.3 percent in July. Settlements without cost-of-living adjustments reached in August produced annual wage increases averaging 1.4 percent, compared to 1.7 percent in July.
  •