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Electrical Workers contract calls for lump sums.

Protracted negotiations between Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and Local 1245 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers ended when the parties agreed on a 3-year contract. The negotiations, which continued without a work stoppage after the previous agreement expired on December 31, 1987, centered on union demands for specified wages matching the 2.7 5-percent increase in Jannary of 1988 and 1989 negotiated earlier for maintenance and operating employees. Pacific Gas proposed lump-sum payments instead, contending that the $14.46 average hourly wage for the unit already matched the average for clerical employees of other companies in the area.

The negotiated compromise was an immediate lumpsum payment equal to 2.75 percent of each employee's 1987 gross earnings, followed by a 1989 lump sum equal to 1 percent of 1988 earnings, along with a 1.75-percent wage increase. Unlike the usual practice, both lump sums will be combined with hourly wages in calculating pension benefits and payments into the workers' deferred savings plan.

The accord, running to December 31, 1990, also provides for reopening bargaining on wages in the last year; up to 6 months of unpaid leave for either parent upon the birth of his or her child; and the suspension of .some work rules when the company is conducting efficiency and productivity studies (this provision matches one in the agreement for maintenance and operating employees).
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Title Annotation:Developments in Industrial Relations
Author:Ruben, George
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Dec 1, 1988
Previous Article:Western Union employees get pay increase.
Next Article:DuPont adopts pay incentive plan.

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