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Whirlpool settlement.

The Whirlpool Corp. and the International Union of Electrical Workers (IUE) settled on a 3-year contract, covering about 2,500 production and skilled workers at the company's refrigerator manufacturing plant in Evansville, IN. The new contract, which was ratified on die expiration date of the old one, provides for wage cuts, a two-tier wage system, and an agreement to keep the plant open. Increased pension benefits were a key bargaining issue, and reflected the needs of the workers whose average age was 53 years. The pact calls for a $4 increase in the monthly pension rate (previously, 17) per year of credited service and the establishment of a 401(k) plan in which employees can invest up to 15 percent of their gross earnings, with the company matching up to one-third of an employee's investment. Wage rates were cut $1.71 per hour for all job classifications, reducing entry level pay for assemblers (the lowest paid job classification) to $10.19 per hour. A two-tier wage rate system for new hires was established, with entry level assemblers starting at $7.25 and progressing to the normal starting rate ($10.19) after 3 years. In addition, the probationary period for new hires was increased 45 days (to 90 days); and medical coverage, with reduced benefits, was made available to new hires only after the 90-day probationary period. Full medical benefits become available to new hires on their second anniversary. In return for these wage and benefit concessions, the company agreed to keep the plant open during the term of the agreement and invest $55 million dollars in the facility to meet Federal energy standards that become effective in 1993.

Other provisions include the elimination of the cost-of-living adjustment clause; the elimination of the second opinion requirement under the health plan; a decrease to $250 in the penalty for not obtaining a pre-admission certificate for certain hospital procedures (previously, employee paid total penalty); and a new optional family accident insurance plan.
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Title Annotation:Developments in industrial relations; collective labor agreement
Author:Cimini, Michael H.
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Jul 1, 1990
Previous Article:Developments in aerospace.
Next Article:Colt-Auto Workers accord.

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