Merck, three unions settle, end 15-week strike.
Merck's demand for compensation cuts included a call for adoption of a two-tier wage system under which new employees would be permanently paid less than those already on the payroll. The final provision did not amount to a true two-tier system because the additional pay sacrifices applicable to new workers would be recoupled. The 4-year contract does not provide for specified wage increases or automatic cost-of-living adjustments in the first year. Current employees will receive lump-sum payments of $700 on April 30, 1985; $800 on April 30, 1986; and $500 on April 30, 1987. In addition, they will receive possible cost-of-living adjustments of up to 15 cents an hour in the fourth year. New employees will not receive the lump-sum payments or the current $3.15 to $3.18 cost-of-living allowance, but will receive a 30-cent-an-hour wage increase after each 12 months of service. They would attain pay rate parity with current employees in about 10 years, assuming the provision for 30-cent increases is retained in subsequent contracts.
The contract, which expires on April 30, 1988, increases lifetime major medical coverage to $750,000, from $250,000; medical deductibles to $150 for single coverage and $300 for family, from $50 and $150, respectively; covered hospital stays to 365 days, from 120 days; and requires a second medical opinion for surgery. Other benefit changes included a $1,000 increase in life insurance coverage, to $5,000, and unspecified improvements in pensions.
The accord covered 4,000 employees at operations in Rahway and North Branch, NJ; West Point, Hawthorne, and Danville, PA; South San Francisco, CA; Albany, GA; and Elkton, VA.
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Publication:||Monthly Labor Review|
|Date:||Nov 1, 1984|
|Previous Article:||Board limits bargaining units in health facilities.|
|Next Article:||Electrical workers win first contract at Litton.|
|KILLER PILL BACKED BY TOP MEDIC; Midland professor's support for painkiller.|
|Drug firm in payout rethink; NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL NEWS ROUND-UP.|