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Textile workers negotiate benefit gains at Bibb Co.

In the textile industry, 2,600 workers in Roanoke Rapids, NC, were covered by a settlement between the Bibb Co. and the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers. The seven plants had been owned by J.P. Stevens & Co., which sold them to Bibb earlier in the year. At that time, Stevens' other plants-which are generally nonunionwere acquired by West Point-Pepperel Inc. and Odyssey Partners (a New York investment firm). Each company had been attempting to acquire all of Stevens' operations.

Clyde Bush, an official of the union, described the Bibb agreement as important "in this age of takeovers and mergers in the textile industry" because the accord provided for an overall gain in benefits. The gains included a new pension plan providing for a benefit rate ranging from $7 a month for each year in which an employee earns $10,000-$11,000 to $9 a month for each year in which earnings are $16,000 or more. Previously, rates ranged from $5 to $7 a month.

The new contract expires on March 31, 1991, but Bush said he expected that bargaining on wages and benefits would start in a few months, triggered by changes expected to be announced by nonunion companies. The first action occurred in August, when Spring Mills (a nonunion company) announced a 4.1 -percent pay increase for its employees.
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Title Annotation:Developments in Industrial Relations
Author:Ruben, George
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Oct 1, 1988
Words:224
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