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Electronics workers reopen contract, get pay raise.

More than 2,500 employees of Ford Motor Co.'s Refrigeration Products Division plant in Connersville, IN, were covered by a 4-year contract negotiated under a reopening provision of an existing contract that had been scheduled to expire next year. The employees, who are represented by the Electronic Workers, manufacture automotive air conditioners and fuel system components.

The new contract called for an immediate wage increase of 60 cents an hour, followed by 40-cent increases in July of 1989 and 1990, and there is a provision for reopening negotiations on wages and benefits in July 1991. The workers will also continue to be eligible for possible quarterly cost-of-living pay adjustments.

Provisions for two-tier wages and benefits, adopted in 1985, were revised to reduce the disadvantage of junior employees in relation to senior employees. The junior employees (those hired after December 3, 1985) are now covered by dental, vision, and sick leave benefits after 60 days of employment, matching the requirement for senior employees. Also, junior employees in the skilled trades now progress to top pay rates after 8 years of service; the other junior employees continue to be covered by the 10year progression schedule that had also applied to skilled workers. (All senior employees moved to top pay rates within a year after being hired.)

Other terms of the contract included a $4 increase in the normal pension rate, to $22.50 a month for each year of credited service, and retirement at age 62 (formerly 65) after 30 years of service; up to 1 year of unpaid parental leave for either parent; 5 years (formerly 4) recall rights for laid-off employees; permission for employees to volunteer for temporary layoffs while shorter service employees are retained; extension of eligibility for apprenticeships to age 45, from 25; and supplements to workers' compensation payments to maintain full job income for up to 300 weeks (was 80 percent of income for 200 weeks).
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Title Annotation:Developments in Industrial Relations
Author:Ruben, George
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Nov 1, 1988
Previous Article:Foundry wages advance as employment retreats.
Next Article:Textile contract focuses on job security.

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