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BECHTEL: CONSTRUCTION UNIONS AND BECHTEL INTRODUCE NEW WORKERS' COMPENSATION AGREEMENT FOR MASSACHUSETTS PROJECT

 SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Bechtel and a number of building trades unions in Massachusetts have signed a landmark agreement designed to significantly change the way Workers' Compensation Insurance claims are handled, Bechtel announced today.
 The new approach to Workers' Compensation -- a first for the construction industry -- covers construction workers at the MASSPOWER Cogeneration project jobsite near Springfield, Mass. Advantages of the MASSPOWER agreement include improved access to quality medical care, as well as an expedited dispute resolution process that features and ombudsman, mediation and arbitration with specific deadlines for decision making.
 "This agreement is a win-win proposition," explains Tom Manley, Bechtel labor relations supervisor in Gaithersburg, Md. "It increases benefits for employees and we anticipate long-term savings for the company."
 Joe Dart, Massachusetts Building and Construction Trades Council representative, agrees.
 "Under this agreement, our union members know their claims will be finalized promptly and that they will be receiving medical treatment from highly qualified doctors. Now they don't have to worry about whether their claims will be handled fairly or how long it will take."
 As part of the new Becthel-Building Trades plan, workers will use doctors affiliated with a medical services network that has been mutually chosen by the unions and Bechtel. Employees may obtain a second opinion from any doctor on the approved list on a one-time basis. The quality of care provided will be closely monitored through a special medical management process.
 "Our top priority is making sure we are providing improved medical care for our employees," said Manley.
 Frank Callahan, executive director of the Massachusetts Pioneer Valley Building and Construction Trades Council, described the new Workers Compensation Insurance plan as a "positive development that could set a trend for other areas of the country and other industries.
 "Simply put, labor and management got together to create an alternative to the present system. In the process we have developed a concept that works better and is good for everyone involved."
 The Bechtel-Building Trades Workers' Compensation Insurance agreement was negotiated with the assistance of John H. Lewis, a Miami attorney who is a recognized expert in Workers' Compensation issues.
 Manley said that although the new plan is being tried first on the Springfield project, Bechtel hopes to use it on other projects in Massachusetts and in other states. As such, he said it is likely to have a long-term effect on the way Workers' Compensation claims are handled throughout the entire U.S. construction industry.
 -0- 12/21/92
 /CONTACT: Larry Miller of Bechtel, 415-768-6144; or Joe Dart of the Mass. Building and Construction Trades Council, 617-436-3551; or Frank Callahan of the Mass. Pioneer Valley Building and Construction Trades Council, 413-585-0300/


CO: Bechtel; Massachusetts Building and Trades Council; Massachusetts
 Pioneer Valley Building and Construction Trades Council ST: Massachusetts, California IN: CST INS SU:


SG-GT -- SF003 -- 0090 12/21/92 11:34 PST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 21, 1992
Words:475
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