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Peaceful settlement at IBP.

IBP, Inc., the world's largest beef processor, and Local 222 of the United Food and Commercial Workers negotiated a 4-year collective bargaining agreement, covering some 2,800 production and maintenance workers at the firm's 25-year old meatpacking plant in Dakota City, NE. The contract was the first negotiated by the parties without a work stoppage in more than 20 years; according to the president of the local, "labor-management relations were better during this cycle of negotiations because of an attitude of mutual respect."

The new contract provides for an immediate increase of 40 cents an hour in the base rate, followed by increases of 10 cents an hour in each of the 3 subsequent years (at the expiration of the previous contract, hourly base rates reportedly were $8.05 for processing workers and $8.35 for slaughter line workers hired before December 14, 1986, and $7.55 and $7.65 for second tier employees hired later). Starting rates will be increased by 50 cents an hour (to $6.50) for employees with less than 3 months of service, by 40 cents an hour for those with 3 but less than 6 months of service, and by 30 cents an hour for all remaining employees on the starting rate progression. Other wage changes include immediate wage increases of up to $1.45 an hour for some employees to correct for past wage inequities; and upgrades of about 200 production jobs, resulting in rate increases ranging from 550 cents an hour.

Other terms include maintenance training rates of $7 to $10.50 an hour; enhanced seniority and job bidding provisions; elimination of the semiannual "window" for union dues payment revocation; notification of cancellation of work shifts on local television and radio; an increase in meal tickets, from $2 to $3; extension of the retirement savings plan through the term of the contract; mandatory participation in the dental plan (previously, optional); changes in the medical plan, including mandatory participation, $5.93 (was $4.43) weekly employee contributions for both individual and family coverage, and increases in the employee prescription drug copayment (from $1 to $3 for generic drugs and from $3 to $8 for brand name drugs); and continuation of the present safety and health and ergonomics program. (In 1988, IBP and the Food and Commercial Workers agreed to a 3-year ergonomics research program aimed at reducing cumulative trauma disorders. The program provides an extensive role for workers in the process, which includes worker training, testing of new tools and methods, and revision of medical procedures.)
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Title Annotation:Developments in industrial relations; IBP Inc.
Author:Cimini, Michael H.
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Dec 1, 1991
Previous Article:Grocery industry.
Next Article:Pattern followed at Champion.

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