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Company allowed to reduce wages, 'if necessary.'

In Clayton, MO, the St. Joe Lead Co. announced that it had negotiated a contract with Steelworkers' local 6242 that permits the company to reduce wages by $3 an hour "if deemed necessary for business reasons." Prior to the settlement, which ended an 8-month strike, pay averaged $12.29 an hour, according to the company.

Another provision ended a requirement that employees belong to the union. During the strike, St. Joe had continued to mine some lead, using 130 nonunion salaried employees and some miners who had left the union. At the time of settlement, the local union had 550 members.

Others terms of the contract, which runs to March 31, 1986, included a 33-cent-an-hour wage increase, termination of automatic cost-of-living pay adjustments, and cuts in health benefits. In another change, St. Joe gained the right to hire outside contractors for additional construction and maintenance projects.

A company official said the cost reduction moves were necessitated by flat worldwide demand for lead and domestic regulatiosn that reduced the amount of lead used as additives to gasoline.
COPYRIGHT 1985 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Mar 1, 1985
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