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Meat processing settlements.

Meat processing settlements

About 1,400 employees of Oscar Mayer Food Corp.'s Madison, WI, plant were covered by a 3-year contract that provides for a 25-cent-an-hour wage increase, and establishes a "goal bonus" plan that could result in annual distributions up to $1,500, according to an official of Local 538 of the United Food and Commercial Workers. He said that a larger wage increase was not possible because of the intense competition Oscar Mayer is encountering from nonunion companies, which hold a large share of the market. The 25-cent immediate hike brought the plant's base scale to $10.95 an hour.

Payments under the goal bonus plan will depend on the degree of success in attaining productivity, safety, and cost-saving goals to be set by union and management representatives. The first possible payout is to be made in 1991.

Other provisions include new educational assistance and mail order prescription drug programs, and improvements in paid vacations and the long-term disability plan.

In Fremont, NE, Geo. A Hormel & Co. canceled plans to close the "kill and cut" unit of its plant after employees accepted a 3-year contract that includes a new two-tier pay schedule. Under the schedule, new employees will start at $7.25 an hour, move to $7.50 after 6 months, to $7.75 after the first year, $8 after 1 1/2 years, and $8.50 after 2 1/2 years. Previously, new workers started at $9.25 and progressed to $10.75.

Employees on the payroll at the time of settlement will not be affected by the reduced rates. Instead, they will receive 15-cent-an-hour wage increases in each contract year.

Other terms negotiated by Local 22 of the United Food and Commercial Workers included employee payment of 20 percent of health insurance premium costs, which had been fully paid by Hormel; $10,000 life insurance coverage, instead of $5,000; and a fifth week of vacation for employees with 30 years of service. The contract, negotiated a week before the scheduled expiration of the preceding contract covers 670 employees.
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Title Annotation:developments in industrial relations
Author:Ruben, George
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Dec 1, 1989
Previous Article:Grocery store accords.
Next Article:Hotel workers settle.

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