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No-strike contract at Armco Steel.

Bargaining against a lockout deadline, negotiators for the Armco Steel Co. LP and the Armco Employees Independent Federation reached a 4-year agreement, retroactive to March 1, 1990, covering 4,300 production workers in Middletown, OH. The accord provides job security in exchange for a no-strike agreement. Armco is the Nation's fifth largest steel company.

Under terms of the so-called "customer assurance plan," the union agreed not to strike during the term of this agreement and the succeeding contract, guaranteeing Armco continuation of production and easing their customers' concerns about delivery. The pact restores the no-strike provision that was common in the steel industry, including Armco, during the 1970's and early 1980's. As part of the contract, Armco agreed to stop subcontracting certain work such as sandblasting and some refractory work and to use their floating pool of reserve employees to perform this work.

Other terms of the contract include a 75-cent-per-hour general wage increase retroactive to March 1, 1990, 50 cents on March 1, 1991, and 25 cents on March 1, 1992; a $1 increase in incentive pay over the term; extension of the profit-sharing plan to hourly employees; establishment of a 401(k) plan; a minimum monthly pension rate of $1,000 after 30 years of credited service; 5 additional vacation days; and eligibility for a comprehensive medical plan (HMO's). In addition, an "inflationary recognition program" was established with payments contingent upon both the company earning a profit in the quarter (payments can be delayed until the next profitable quarter) and an increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) at an annual rate of 4 percent or more. Under the program, employees will receive quarterly lump-sum payments equal to 1 percent of their base pay if the CPI-W rises 4 percent a year, and an additional 1 percent for each additional full 1-percent rise over the initial 4 percent.

In addition, the parties will participate in mutual gains training prior to November 1993 in preparation for 1994 negotiations. This training will be conducted by a third party selected by the company and union negotiators and will deal with how to conduct bargaining sessions effectively. As part of a "win-win" approach to bargaining, the parties will use mediation-arbitration to resolve a bargaining impasse. Under "medarb," a mediator will assist the parties in reaching a bargaining settlement. Failing that, the mediator will arbitrate any unresolved issues.
COPYRIGHT 1990 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:Developments in Industrial Relations
Author:Cimini, Michael H.
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Jun 1, 1990
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