The round of settlements in the aerospace industry continued, as
the Auto Workers agreed with Rockwell International Corp. on a 3-year
contract that included two provisions designed to moderate labor cost
increases. One provides that new employees will have to wait longer
before attaining the maximum pay progression step for their job grade.
The other provides that new workers will not receive quartely
cost-of-living pay adjustments during their first year on the job.
Thereafter, they will the full adjustment, but will not receive
retroactive payment of any lost amount. Both provisions were apparently
less detrimental to workers than in some earlier aerospace accords,
which called for new employees to be paid less than incumbents in all
steps of the progression schedule for their grade and for current
employees in lower grades to receive smaller wage increases that current
employees in other grades. Two such settlements involved the Boeing Co.
and the Machinists and McDonnel Douglas Corp.'s Long Beach, CA,
operations and the Auto Workers. (See Monthly Labor Review, December
1983, p. 55, and April 1984, p. 49.)
Other terms of the agreement, which covered 16,000 workers in
California, Oklahoma, and Ohio called for annual lump-sum payments in
August of 1984 and 1985 equal to 3 percent of earnings during the
preceding 12 months; a 3-percent pay increase in July 1986; and a
pension rate of $17 a month for each year of credited service effective
October 1, 1984, and a $19 rate 2 years later (the prior rate was $15);
three $200 lump-sum payments to current retirees over the contract
terms; and revision of the health program to give employees a choice
among health maintenance organizations, preferred provider
organizations, and "Traditional" coverage, with each plan now
covering 90 percent of costs (was 100 percent), and to require second
medical opinions for surgery.