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Aerospace developments.

Developments in industrial relations

Aerospace developments

Rockwell International Corp. and four United Automobile Workers locals negotiated new 3-year agreements, covering some 9,000 workers at various sites in California and Oklahoma. The contracts provide for wage increases and lump-sum payments: an immediate 4-percent general wage increase, a 3-percent general wage increase in July 1991, a lump-sum payment in December 1990 equal to 2 percent of an employee's gross earnings in the preceding 12 months, and a similar 6-percent lump-sum payment in August 1992. In addition, $1.57 in cost-of-living allowances pid under the previous agreements will be rolled into the base rate immediately after the initial wage increase.

Other terms include establishment of employee involvement programs that basically focus on production-oriented problems; continuation of the cost-of-living adjustment clause, which provides for quarterly adjustments equal to 1 cent an hour for each 0.3-point change in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers; $3 increased in the monthly pension rate for future retirees in January of 1991 and 1992, bringing the rate to $26 and $29; a $200 increase in annual retirement benefits for current pensioners in each year of the contract; and an 85-percent (previously, 100-percent) reimbursement under the preferred provider health care plan.

Elsewhere, after almost 3 months of talks, negotiators for Bell Helicopters and two locals of the United Automobile Workers reached similar 3-year pacts, covering 3,550 workers in the Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, area. (Local 218 represents some 2,850 production and maintenance workers; Local 317 represents about 700 office and clerical workers.) The accords provide for wage increases and the consolidation of health care plans.

The president of Local 218 described the outcome as "a good contract even considering the state of the defense industry." Bell Helicopters, a major helicopter and tilt-rotor manufacturer, was affected by defense budget cuts, particularly in the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor program. In addition, funding for Bell's OH-58D scout helicopter improvement program and the AH-1 cobra gunship program may be in jeopardy.

Wage terms of Local 218's contract include a 3-percent general wage increase in 1990, and a 2-percent increase in 1991. In additiion, workers will receive a lump-sum payment in the first year equal to 3 percent of their annual gross earnings in the preceding year, and similar lump-sum payments of 2 percent in the second year and 4 percent in the third year. Over the term of the contract, the wage rate of employees at the top of the wage progression reportedly will increase from $16.14 to $18.38, and their lump-sum payment will yield $3,373. The time it takes to move from the lowest to the highest pay scales was reduced from 13-18 eyars of 6.5 years.

Also, medical insurance was combined into a single comprehensive plan that includes the establishment of substance abuse and mental health treatment programs and improved dental and vision care benefits. Employees who opt not to participate in the comprehensive plan will be allowed to join a health maintenance organization (HMO).

Other terms include a $2,000 increase in both life insurance benefits and accidental death and dismemberment benefits (to $19,000-$21,000, depending on labor grade); newly established life insurance benefits for spouses ($5,000) and for children ($2,000 each); a $20 increase over the contract's term in weekly accident and sickness benefits (to $190-$210, depending on labor grade); a $26 (previously, $23) monthly pension rate for each year of credited service for future retirees effective September 1, 1990, and $29 effective September 1, 1992; $300 annual pension increases on December 1 of 1990, 1991, and 1992 for current retirees; and , effective September 1, 1990, a $28.60 monthly supplemental medical insurance benefit for retirees, with a maximum deductible medicare reimbursement of $592.

Unlike Local 218's agreement, Local 317's contract calls for compensation increases that differ between salaried and hourly paid workers. Salaried employees will receive a 3-percent wage boost in the first year, a 2-percent increase in the second year, a lump-sum payment in the first near equal to 3 percent of an employee's annual gross earnings paid in the previous year, and similar payments of 2 percent in the second year and 3 percent in the third year. Hourly employees will receive lumpsum payments only, structured along the same lines as those for salaried employees, equal to 6 percent in the first year and 4 percent in the second and third years.

"Developments in Industrial Relations" is prepared by Michael H. Cimini of the Division of Developments in Labor-Management Relations, Bureau of Labor Statisticts, and is largely based on information from secondary sources.
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Title Annotation:Developments in industrial relations.; Rockwell International Corp., United Automobile Workers contract
Author:Cimini, Michael H.
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Oct 1, 1990
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