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Drug testing extended at NY utility.

Negotiators for the Long Island Lighting Co. and Locals 1049 and 13 81 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers reached agreement on 4-year contracts that extended a random drug testing program. Employees who were not included in Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Department of Transportation/Public Service Commission drug testing programs will now be tested. About two-thirds of the utility's 2,700 production workers, but none of its 1,500 clerical workers, had before been covered by mandatory Federal and State testing rules.

Under the new program, urine drug testing for prohibited substances--marijuana, cocaine, opiates, phencyclidine, and amphetamines--would be conducted monthly using the same rules and regulations required in the Federal and State programs, except for the addition of a "split sample" method of collection, which uses two containers for sampling. In addition to employees already tested under the Federal/State rules, 10 percent of workers who are not covered under mandatory testing would be selected randomly each year for drug testing. The same types of testing as under the mandatory program would be conducted follow ing acci dents, for reasonable cause, be fore employment, and for rehabilitation testing. The first offense for employees testing positive would be a 5 -day suspension, and a second offense would result in termination.

The contract also called for wage increases of 4.5 percent in February 1992, 4.7 percent in February 1993, and 4.8 percent in February 1994 and 199 5; elimination of the two-tier wage progression for production and maintenance workers, effective in February 1994; a 30-cent-anhour increase over the term in the shift differentials for employees working between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.; and a 65cent-an-hour increase over the term of the contract in the Sunday bonus.

The parties agreed to several changes in health plans, including managed care programs; establishing a patient advocate program featuring concurrent review and large case management; increases over the term in the deductible for comprehensive medical benefits, from $75 to $200 for individual coverage and from $150 to $400 for family coverage; an increase over the term in maximum "outof-pocket" expenses from $1,000 to $1,500; an increase in the employee's coinsurance for comprehensive major medical benefits, from 20 percent to 25 percent; flexible spending accounts for health and dependent care; an updated "reasonable and customary" reimbursement schedule for dental benefits; and increases in dental deductibles, from $50 to $75 for individual coverage and from $100 to $150 for family coverage.

The settlement also modified the pension benefit formula for active fulltime employees. Current benefits would equal an employee's present accrued pension benefit or the benefit level determined by a new formula for credited service, whichever is greater.

Under the new formula, the average January 1 salary for 1988 through 1996 is compared to the January 1, 1992, salary. The smaller of the two figures is multiplied by 1.8 percent per year for the first 20 years of credited service and by 1.3 percent for each year after 20 years of service. Future benefits would be calculated at 2 percent of an employee's January 1 salary for each year of service if the employee is under age 50 and 2.5 percent if age 50 or older.

Other terms included 4 weeks of vacation after 14 years of service, reduced from 15 years, and 5 weeks after 21 years of service, a reduction from 23 years; an $8 increase over the contract's term, to $14, in the meal allowance; establishment of a perfect attendance incentive program; flexible work hour schedules; establishment of a joint committee to provide guidelines for use of relief personnel, master schedules, and other related issues; increased mileage and zone mileage allowances; and enhanced bidding fights for disabled employees.

Job action ends at Martin Marietta

With no settlement in sight, striking workers at Martin Marietta Energy Systems' operations in Piketon, OH, voted to return to work "unconditionally" after a 42-week work stoppage. The major sticking point in the dispute reportedly was management's bid for greater flexibility with a proposal to eliminate seniority-based work rules concerning job transfers and overtime assignments. A proposal by the company to impose a drug testing program "for cause" also became a quarrelsome issue.

Martin Marietta operates the Piketon plant as a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy, which remained neutral during the 'work stoppage. Workers at the plant manufacture low enriched uranium for commercial nuclear power plants and, until last year, highly enriched uranium for the Nation's nuclear weapons program.

The work stoppage began June 11, 1991, after negotiators for management and the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union reached an impasse in bargaining and the 1,022 workers in the company's production, maintenance, and service unit walked off their jobs. During the job action, management operated the plant using supervisory personnel and salaried employees from other Martin Marietta plants. Martin Marietta did not fire striking employees, or hire strike replacements.

Martin Manetta insisted that the union sign a "return-to-work" agreement be-. fore striking employees could return to work. The company also said it would impose the terms of its most recent contract offer. The proposal called for an immediate 2.5-percent wage increase; job upgrading; a limit of one job transfer during the term of the agreement; continuing the cost-of-living adjustment provision; and a mandatory period of training and recertification at full pay.

Change of leadership at two unions

The Bakery, Confectionery and Tobacco Workers' general executive board elected Frank Hurt to succeed John DeConcini as president effective October 1. Hurt was Secretary-Treasurer before he was elected to head the 135,000-member union.

The Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association's national executive committee elected Alexander C. Cullison as president to fill the unexpired, 4year term of C.E. DeFries, who resigned last March. DeFries had been president of the 53,000-member union since 1985. Cullison was president of District 1 of the Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association National Maritime Union.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:Long Island Lighting, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
Author:Cimini, Michael H.; Behrmann, Susan L.
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Jun 1, 1992
Previous Article:California supermarket settlement.
Next Article:Beyond Race and Gender.

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