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Pattern may be set in lumber pact.

Pattern may be set in lumber pact

Willamette Industries, Inc. and the International Woodworkers of America and the Western Council of Lumber, Production and Industrial Workers signed a 4-year collective bargaining agreement covering 1,322 loggers and mill workers in Oregon. The pact was expected to serve as a pattern for contracts that expire this summer affecting several thousand other workers at major West Coast timber companies.

The accord called for wage increases of 4 percent retroactive to June 1, 1992, 3 percent in the second year, and 40 cents per hour in the third and fourth years. In addition, new hires would earn the typical basic rate after 30 days, a sharp decline from 1 year. Wages averaged $11.40 an hour at the time of settlement, according to the company.

Other terms included a 60-cent-anhour increase in the company's health and pension contributions over the first 3 years of the contract, to $2.15 an hour per employee, with a reopener in the fourth year for health and welfare issues; an increase in life insurance coverage from $10,000 to $15,000; a 13-percent increase over term in the company's pension contributions; 5 weeks of vacation after 20 years of service or more, an increase from 4 weeks; and 2 additional holidays, to a total of 11, on a floating basis.

Negotiators for Weyerhaeuser Co. and the two unions reached agreement 2 weeks later on a 4-year contract covering approximately 3,750 loggers and mill workers in the company's operations in Oregon and Washington. The agreement was patterned generally after the settlement at Willamette Industries.

As in the Willamette agreement, the Weyerhaeuser pact provided general wage increases of 4 percent in the first year, 3 percent in the second year, and 40 cents an hour in the third year; a 60-centan-hour increase over the term of the contract (was $1.55 an hour per employee) in the company's contributions to the health and welfare fund; and two additional holidays.

In addition to the pattern, the Weyerhaeuser settlement called for elimination of a profit-sharing plan for mill workers that had been in place for 6 years, along with $1 an hour wage adjustments applied before the first general wage increase to raise these employees' wages to industry levels because of low profit-sharing plan payouts; an increase, from $22 to $26, in the monthly pension rate for each year of credited service; 1 week vacation after service of between 6 and 10 years; and establishment of a 401(k) plan in which employees can invest up to 14 percent of their straight time pay, with a company match of 30 cents on the dollar up to a maximum of 5 percent of employees' straight time pay.

Accord at Bridgestone/Firestone

Despite dissatisfaction with some of the settlement's terms, members of Local 1055 of the Rubber Workers ratified a 3-year collective bargaining agreement, covering 1,100 production and maintenance workers at Bridgestone/Firestone's tire plant in La Vergne, TN. The settlement was preceded by an 18-day work stoppage. The dispute's major issue focused on the company's proposal to introduce a managed health care system using preferred providers.

Terms of the accord called for

* a wage freeze over the term of the contract,

* a preferred provider health care system, and

* a 4-day workweek of 12-hour days without overtime pay when working more than 8 hours a day; previously, the schedule called for a 5-day workweek with 8-hour work-days and overtime after 8 hours.

Presidential executive order

President Bush signed an executive order that requires contractors doing business with the Federal government to inform employees who are represented by a union but are not union members that they may be required to pay only their share of union dues related to collective bargaining, contract administration, and processing of grievances. The order also requires contractors to inform nonunion employees they may recoup their share of dues or fees spent on political activities they oppose or other union expenditures not related to collective bargining.

The executive order follows a 1988 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Communications Workers v. Beck. The Court ruled that nonunion employees working under an "agency shop" agreement that does not compel union membership, but requires employees to pay dues or equivalent service fees, may not be required to pay full agency shop fees if a portion of the money is used for political, legislative, social, or labor organizing activities they oppose.

The Department of Labor announced that, to administer and enforce the executive order, it will require unions to report their expenditures by broad categories, including spending on political activities. The National Labor Relations Board, which would oversee complaints stemming from the Beck case, said it would speed up the handling of Beckrelated complaints. The agency announced that it also would set guidelines specifying how much financial information unions must provide members about their activities.
COPYRIGHT 1992 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:collective bargaining agreement between Willamette Industries and union members
Author:Cimini, Michael H.; Behrmann, Susan L.
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Sep 1, 1992
Previous Article:Lengthy dispute ends at Ravenswood.
Next Article:Employers Large and Small.

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