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BASF lockout ends.

BASF lockout ends

One of the longest and most bitter labor disputes in American labor history ended when the BASF Corp. and the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers (OCAW) reached a 3-year agreement, ending a 5 1/2-year lockout at the company's Geismar, LA, chemical facility. When the dispute began, 370 operators and maintenance employees represented by the OCAW were among the 1,200 workers at the plant. BASF locked out the OCAW-represented workers in 1984, shortly before their contract was to expire. Three years later, the company recalled the operators, but terminated the 110 maintenance workers, whose ranks included most of the local OCAW leaders.

Since then, the labor dispute escalated from the bargaining table to the media and to the national and international political arena. The turning point in the stalemate came when the company approached the union last September in an attempt to resolve the dispute. After intense negotiations, an agreement was reached around the end of the year.

The 3-year pact covers only the terminated maintenance workers. It provides for recall and job protection: maintenance workers will be recalled on a flow basis and trained as operators; once their seniority is effectively restored, they will have the right to displace employees in any job below top operator. Thirty-two workers will be recalled immediately, and 10 additional workers will be recalled every 30 days until all terminated employees have been offered employment as operators. In addition, the company is prohibited from contracting out work covered by the contract.

The agreement also provides for an immediate 2-percent wage boost and 3 1/2-percent increases in 1990 and 1991. The company will pay the full cost of health insurance premiums in the first 2 contract years, and 80 percent in the third year.
COPYRIGHT 1990 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Developments in Industrial Relations
Author:Cimini, Michael H.
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Mar 1, 1990
Previous Article:Rouge steel accord.
Next Article:Grocery settlements.

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