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Job security agreed to at Acme.

Negotiators for Acme Markets, Inc. and Local 1776 of the United Food and Commercial Workers signed separate but parallel 4-year collective bargaining agreements covering about 6,500 grocery workers in Philadelphia and Allentown, PA. The union accepted a wage freeze in the first year and a longer contract than usual in exchange for the company's pledge to modernize stores and to keep all stores open during the term of the agreement.

The pacts call for wage increases of $1.30 an hour over the term of the contract for department heads and workers at the top of the wage progression. In Allentown, new hires' starting rates for general clerks would be set at $5.00 an hour effective in January 1993, advancing to $8 after 48 months, and at $5.25 an hour effective in July 1995, advancing to $9.25 an hour after 48 months. In Philadelphia, the starting rates for general clerks would take effect at the same time but be set at $5.25 and $5.50 an hour, respectively, advancing to $9.50 and $10.25 an hour after 48 months. New hire rates for maintenance clerks would be set at $6.50 and $6.75 an hour, respectively, advancing to $9 and $9.50 after 36 months.

The parties increased monthly pension rates of full-time employees to $24 per year of credited service for pre-1985 service, to $30 per year for post-1984 service, and to $40 per year for future service. Negotiators boosted the monthly pension rate for part-timers to $16 for past service and to $20 for future service. They also agreed to one-time payments and permanent increases equal to 10 percent of the annual payment to disability retirees and other retirees 65 or older with 15 years' service and 5 percent of the annual reimbursements for pensioners on disability retirement and other retirees 65 or older with between 10 and 15 years of service.

Negotiators made several changes in job security provisions, including an agreement to invest at least $200 million in capital improvements and to keep all stores open during the term of the agreement, a guarantee that employees with at least 4 years of service will not be laid off or be placed in part-time status, and an agreement that at least 25 percent of the workforce be full-time.

Other terms include increasing annual wellness benefits to $300 for single coverage and to $500 for family coverage; increasing child care benefits, from $4 to $6 a day effective in 1993 and to $10 a day effective in 1995; establishing a $300 annual educational benefit for dependents up to age 24; increasing annual education benefits from $600 to $1,000 effective in 1995; establishing storewide goals involving ergonomics, a "buy union" campaign, job training, and incentive pay; agreeing not to unilaterally change the dress code; establishing a joint job training committee; and adopting a 20-hour minimum work week as a goal.

UFCW settles at Victory Markets Negotiators for Victory Markets, Inc. and Local 1 of the United Food and Commercial Workers (USFCW) reached agreement on a 4-year labor contract, covering about 3,500 grocery clerks and meat department employees at 80 stores in upstate New York. The grocery chain operates the stores under the name of Great American Supermarkets.

The accord provides hourly wage increases of 15 cents retroactive to January 1, 1993, 10 cents on July 1, 1993, 20 cents on January 1, 1994, 10 cents on July 1, 1994, and 30 cents on January 1, 1995 and 1996. The average hourly rate was approximately $13.20 at the expiration of the previous agreement.

Other terms keep current health care benefits as is, without employee contributions toward premiums, but with some managed care provisions; increase monthly employer contributions toward health insurance premiums to $283 per employee (was $265), advancing to $296 per employee on January 1, 1994; guarantee a 40-hour work week for employees hired after January 1, 1989; and improve safety and health, such as designating in-store safety and health representatives and providing union access to stores for inspection.

Job protection negotiated at Harvard

Negotiators for Harvard University and the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (an affiliate of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) signed a 3-year contract that covers approximately 3,500 clerical and technical workers at the Cambridge, MA, university. Wages, insurance coverage for domestic partners, and job security were major sticking points in negotiations.

The pact, which was reached after 8 months of negotiations, calls for general wage increases of 2 percent retroactive to July 1992 and 2.85 percent in July 1993 and 1994. It also provides all employees with more than 6 months service, except those at the top of the wage progression, step increases averaging about 3 percent each year. Top-rated employees will receive annual 3-percent bonuses. The average annual salary was $23,000 at the expiration of the previous pact.

Other terms include placing laid-off employees in vacancies, with wages and benefits protected for up to 3 months between jobs; a pledge by the university to put in place a policy on health care for domestic partners; increases in the university'S contributions toward a child-care fund, from $50,000 to $70,000 in the first year of the contract, advancing to $80,000 in the second year and $90,000 in the third year; a $60,000 increase, to $135,000 over the term, in the university's contribution to an education fund used for courses not covered by the tuition assistance plan; and establishment of committees to study hiring and parking problems.

Steelworkers settle at Inco

Inco Alloys International and Local 40 of the Steelworkers signed a 3-year collective bargaining agreement, covering about 850 production and maintenance workers in the company's high-nickel alloy plant in Huntington, WV. The major issues in dispute were wages, benefits, and job security.

Although some union members opposed the settlement because of the limited economic package, union leadership recommended acceptance to give the company 3 years to "to work to make the company more productive."

The contract called for hourly wage increases of 15 cents in the second year of the contract and 35 cents in the third year. Other terms included a $13.15 monthly payment for health care coverage for retirees and their dependents for employees retiring after March 19, 1993; an additional $120 a month in pension benefits for employees retiring with 30 or more years of service (the current monthly pension rate is $46 per year of credited service); and increases in weekly accident and sickness benefits, from $290 to $310 in the second year and to $330 in the third year.

Bonus plan negotiated at Corning

Negotiators for Coming, Inc. and Local 1000 of the Flint Glass Workers' Union reached agreement on a 3-year labor contract that features annual bonuses tied to each work unit's achievement of jointly set goals. The pact, which is expected to serve as a pattern for other settlements between the company and union, covers approximately 3,200 production and maintenance workers in 11 plants in the Coming, NY, area.

Under terms of the goal-sharing 130nus plan, employees could receive up to 10 percent (an increase from 7.5 percent) of their annual earnings, exclusive of vacation pay, with 75 percent of the bonus based on attainment of unit goals and 25 percent based on Coming's return on equity. A 2.5-percent guaranteed bonus was not carried over into the new contract.

The accord also increased wages by 4 percent retroactive to November 30, 1992, 30 cents an hour in January 1994, and 33 cents an hour in January 1995. The average hourly wage rate was $11.30 at the expiration of the previous contract, according to the union.

The parties made several changes in benefits. Negotiators increased the future monthly pension benefit rate by $1 a year for the next 6 years (to $25 for each year of credited service) and boosted current retirees' monthly pension rates by $1 in 1993, 1995, and 1997. They enhanced health care coverage by agreeing to establish a well-baby care program in 1993 and a vision care and heating aid program in 1994, and by increasing surgical, maternity, and laboratory benefits. Negotiators raised active employees' copayments for insurance premiums by $3.32 a week (to $12.02) for family coverage and would require employees retiring after January 1, 1995, to pay part of premium costs after reaching age 65. They also decreased the reimbursement rate under the mail order drug plan if genetic equivalents are not purchased.

Innovative contract at Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines and the Air Lines Pilots Association signed a 58-month labor contract that called for a wage cut and cancellation of a planned pilot furlough. The union said members agreed to a wage cut and an extended contract to help the airline "return to profitability quickly and expand."

Key issues in the negotiations for the contract, which covers 914 pilots, focused on the carrier's proposals to cut wages, furlough 140 pilots, and require a longer term contract.

Terms of the agreement call for pilots to take an immediate wage cut of 5 percent, followed by annual wage increases based on Alaska's profitability relative to other carriers in the industry and on an expansion in the company's flight schedule. In addition, the pilots would be covered by a preferred provider health-care plan, and the company would begin paying half of the health insurance premiums for retirees.

Negotiators also came up with a different way to control costs. To allow the cartier to respond to seasonal business fluctuations, bargainers agreed to a 3hour increase in pilots' normal 84-hour flying time for 4 months and a 2-hour decrease in flying time for 9 months. In exchange for the greater flexibility in pilots' flying schedules, the company agreed not to lay off pilots for the term of the agreement.

Legislation and executive orders

President Clinton recently signed into law one piece of legislation and one executive order affecting labor-management relations. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (PL 103-3) requires employers with at least 50 workers to allow an employee to take up to 12 weeks unpaid leave during any 12month period for medical reasons, the birth or adoption of a child, or the serious illness of a spouse, child, or parent. In addition, the act requires employers to maintain the employee's health care coverage for the duration of the leave.

To be eligible for the unpaid leave, the employee must have worked for the employer for at least a year and for at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12month period. Certain highly paid, key employees are excluded from coverage. An employee can be required to substitute accrued paid vacation leave, personal leave, or medical or sick leave for all or part of the unpaid sick leave.

The employee is guaranteed a return to the same or comparable job with equivalent benefits, pay, and other terms of employment. The employee also is guaranteed not to lose any employment benefits accrued before the leave.

The President revoked Executive Orders No. 12818 and 12800 issued in 1992. The first order required "open bidding" on Federal construction projects, while the second required Federal contractors to post notices informing employees that they are not required to join or support a union. (See Monthly Labor Review, September, 1992, p. 46.)
COPYRIGHT 1993 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Acme Markets Inc., United Food and Commercial Workers International Union
Author:Cimini, Michael H.; Behrmann, Susan L.
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Apr 1, 1993
Previous Article:Health issues resolved at Navistar.
Next Article:Work and Family: Policies for a Changing Work Force.

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