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Wage parity at Diamond-Star.

Diamond-Star Motors Corp. in Normal, m, and UAW Local 2488 reached agreement on a 3-year labor contract covering 2,500 production and maintenance workers that preserves job security arrangements and wage parity with the Big Three U.S. domestic automakers. DiamondStar, formed in 1985 as a joint venture between Chrysler Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., became a wholly-owned Japanese transplant in 1991 when Mitsubishi bought out Chrysler's share.

Contract terms called for a lumpsum payment, known as a "quality and performance bonus," in June 1993 equal to 3 percent of an employee's qualified earnings paid during the last 12 months, and general wage increases agreed to by Chrysler during 1993 negotiations; continuation of the COLA clause for quarterly allowances equal to 1 cent an hour for each 0.26-point change in the Consumer Price Index for Wage Earners and Clerical Workers; and the fold-in to base wages of $1.82 in COLA payments earned under the previous agreement. The average hourly wage rate was $16.53 at the expiration of the previous contract.

Several changes were made in the benefits area, including the formula used to calculate pensions and establishment of a $31.45 minimum monthly pension rate per year of credited service; an increase, from 15 percent to 18 percent of earnings, in the maximum employee investment in the 401 (k) savings plan, and an increase in the company's match, from 50 cents on the dollar to 60 cents, on the employee's first 3 percent of earnings; improvements in group insurance, including increases in life insurance coverage (from $50,000 to $60,000), maximum weekly sickness and accident benefits (from $500 to $600), and maximum monthly long-term disability benefits (from $3,000 to $3,500); an additional 8 hours paid time off, from 104 to 160, depending on an employee's years of service; enhancements in leave of absence for short-term military duty and bereavement; and an increase in the number of holidays, from 42 to 44 over the term of the contract.

Other terms include language permitting the company to use up to 125 supplemental workers per shift on days with a high rate of absenteeism; stronger language against sexual harassment; expedited arbitration for cases involving discharge for cause; two additional full-time union representatives; improved safety and health protections; strengthening seniority provisions concerning the return of employees to the bargaining unit; and liberalized shift-changing rules.
COPYRIGHT 1992 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Title Annotation:labor contract between Diamond-Star Motors Corp. and United Automobile Workers Local 2488
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Dec 1, 1992
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