AWPPW Local 675 voted to reject WRK’s offer and voted to accept the 12 Hour proposal.
by Bob Booth, Bleach Room
Last week the company's spokesperson asked us what items we had left to negotiate. We referred them to the Union Agenda that we presented when negotiations began. We also compiled a list of items on our agenda that haven't been discussed, yet. We provided them with the Departmental issues that were submitted to us by stewards and members.
The Union informed the Company that we are seeking a six year Agreement. The Company had previously suggested a four year Agreement.
We informed the Company that we are seeking 3% wage adjustments for each year of the Agreement. The Company has pointed to the RockTenn/USW Master Agreement as what to expect for wage adjustments. That Ageement was 2% - 2% - 2% - 2.5% - 2.5% - 2%.
The Union proposed a $1 increase to the pension multiplier for each year of the Agreement front loaded as a $6 bump the first year. The Company again pointed to the RKT/USW Master which called for a $3 increase on top of whatever Locals with a defined benefit plan had previously negotiated. This was a six year Agreement with the $3 added in two $1.50 installments.
The Company still wants to transition to department seniority. If you're willing to sell out future generations of workers, discussion with the Company indicates that we may see them propose grandfathering mill seniority for current employees, with department seniority being applied to future hires.
The premium pay buyout, when calculated in the same manner as the RKT/USW Master, will likely be a little shy of $8,000. When averaged across everyone in our bargaining unit, eliminating premium pay amounts to close to a 5% cut in annual income. Most of us would start losing money under the premium pay buyout in less than three years. It's also worth bearing in mind how much taxes would reduce the lump sum buyout.
The document below includes the remaining agenda items document, departmental issues, and language proposed by the union last week.
The Company presented language around 10 Hour scheduling, Lubricator Redesign, and Maintenance Redesign. The Company did not have anyone from Maintenance on their committee available to answer questions about these documents. The Union intends to arrange meetings between Stewards from the crafts and Oilers with Maintenance Management to discuss this language.
The Company also presented language concerning the Union's Safety Director. There are legal issues with the Safety Director being under direction of the Union while employed by the Company. The language establishes that the Union selects the Safety Director, but the Safety Director is under direction of the Company's Safety Manager.
The Company has not presented anything as a formal proposal, but you can see the direction they are heading on most issues. We are scheduled to resume negotiations with WRK 3/23 - 3/24 and 3/27 - 3/31. The Union and Company will work on department issues, standby language for 12 Hour Shifts, and outstanding grievances locally, prior to returning to the table in March. I believe there is a good chance that the Company may extend an offer in March. We'll continue to keep you informed going forward.
Below is the Maintenance, Oiler, and Safety Director language presented by the Company.
Local 675 Chaplin Jim Parker provided the following update on this weeks round of bargaining. This was read and approved by the remaining officers serving on your Negotiating Committee:
The AWPPW/CPU Local 675 Negotiating Committee spent this past week with the Company, and would like update the bargaining unit with the events that transpired. The Committee and Company representatives spent two day in Interest Based Bargaining (IBB) training through the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). Federal Mediator, Jimmy Sherwood, provide the training. The basis of IBB is to find common interests to resolve issues.
After completing the training, the group picked several issues to start with that seemed to be items that could be easily resolved. The IBB process helps both sides understand the complexity each side faces. It promotes open communication and keeps the sides from taking a rigid or defensive position due to misunderstanding.
After a rough start trying to understand the process, we were able to define common interests for “Schedules out on Thursday” and should complete this issue next week. The second issue, “Tracking Attendance Points,” went much smoother and the committees will report back next week. Issues involving this one may require that this be ongoing for a while.
Issues to be bought up next week will be “Limiting the time an employee can be held on a transfer,” “Indemnification for union dues administration,” “Weekly vacation checks,” “28 day vacancy language,” and “lunch breaks.” The Union and the Company will meet again Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of next week.
Bargaining will resume February 16-18. Our AWPPW representative, Don Draeger, has used IBB previously and has been an essential asset at the table. The committee thanks the bargaining unit for their continued support.
Solidarity, Brothers and Sisters.
Negotiations continued Thursday-Friday November 12-13 at DSLCC in Clifton Forge, Virginia. Both parties have challenged each other to "think outside the box". This approach is leading us in a direction that will likely see us scheduling a Contract Presentation Meeting in late November. While we still have work to do, we are nearing a point where your Bargaining Committee will need to seek direction from the membership.
Currently, we are discussing a one-year economic extension which will address monetary gains on wages, pension multiplier, A&S insurance, and AD&D insurance. This extension would also guarantee that negotiations will continue throughout 2016 with an end goal of reaching a new Agreement by December 1, 2016. This extension would apply to PRG and Specialty Chemicals (including Ingevity, if/when a spin-off occurs).
We have presented the Company with a copy of our comprehensive bargaining agenda. Particular emphasis was put on the Union's intent to bargain a 12 Hour Agreement and to either eliminate, or alternatively define selection and use of, Hourly Supervisors. At this time the Company hasn't presented us with their agenda.
Bargaining will continue next week and will focus, in part, on the potential Ingevity spin-off which is currently scheduled for March 1, 2016.
The membership will be notified when details are nailed down for the explanation meeting and voting as defined in our By-Laws.
We look forward to seeing you at the Informational Bargaining Meetings on Sunday.
CPU Local 675 Negotiations Committee
Negotiations have continued with no formal proposal from either party.
Discussions concerning Carbon have been put off until the surveys have been completed in Carbon.
Here are a few statements from the officers on your Bargaining Committee:
VP Gary Wilkerson, "Our representation from the AWPPW has been great. The bargaining training we received in Portland is paying off. Tommy's hair is still looking good."
Committeeman Tommy Hubbard, "It's a slow process. We have the membership's best interest at heart."
Committeeman Michael Seldomridge, "Keep us all in your prayers."
VP Heather Williams, "I'm honored to be part of this committee and to have Don Draeger at our side. We are unified in our efforts moving forward through bargaining with the members' best interests in mind. Stay strong and stand together. Remember the motto of AWPPW: "Guard well the democratic rights of your members." Your committee is committed to this and will put forth our best effort in securing a fair contract. Solidarity brothers and sisters."
Job Analyst Tommy Meeks, "We feel very well represented by Don Draeger. The process is moving along as I have expected. Your continued support is appreciated."
President Bob Booth, "Discussions have been respectful, so far. We're prepared to represent your interests, in whichever direction bargaining leads us. Even though we haven't been tested by any major obstacles, I'm certain you all would be proud of the way your Committee is conducting business at the table. I'm appreciative of the training the AWPPW provided for us. Don Draeger's experience has meant a lot to us. I know that you guys will come to appreciate Don as much as we do.
In the end, it all comes down to the will of the membership. When we bring something back, you will direct us how to proceed.
As solid information develops, we'll post it here and utilize our CAT Teams, as well. I look forward to seeing you all at the informational meetings on Sunday."
Local 675 Bargaining Committee
Negotiations commenced at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College in Clifton Forge, VA on 11/9/2015. Present for the Company were Spokesperson Andrew Sanders, Keith Potter, Craig Lane, Jacqui Tilley and Dawson Grant. Your Union Committee consisted of Spokesperson Don Draeger, Pres. Bob Booth, VP Gary Wilkerson, VP Heather Williams, Committeeman Michael Seldomridge, Committeeman Tommy Hubbard and Job Analyst Tommy Meeks.
The Union offered the following Ground Rules:
Union Proposal- November 9, 2015
AWPPW Local 675 CPU and WestRock, Covington, Virginia
1. The Company will furnish the meeting room and will ensure that a caucus room is available for the Union’s use.
2. The Company will pay for the lost time wages of the Union Bargaining Board members for the duration of the talks.
3. Cellular telephones will be turned off while at the bargaining table.
4. No proposal shall be deemed to have been made by either party until submitted in writing by the party’s spokesperson.
5. The Company will furnish 800 copies on any and each tentative agreement that the Union agrees to take to the membership for a ratification vote.
6. The Union requires a minimum of 14 days (excluding weekends), after the receipt of the copies of any tentative agreement, for any referral of a proposal to the membership for ratification.
7. The Company will compile for proofreading copies of the contract for the Union as ratified and will furnish them within a maximum of 60 days of ratification.
8. The Union will be furnished a printer’s copy to proofread prior to the contract being printed.
9. The company will pay the cost of printing the contract. The contract will be printed at a Union printing shop.
10. The contract shall be printed in 3” x 5” format. The color of the cover will be Hi-Viz Green.
11. The contract will be posted on the Company intranet.
12. The Company will allow the Union website to be accessed on the Company intranet as an Union electronic bulletin board.
13. The Company will furnish the Union electronic copies of the contract in both .pdf and Word (.doc) format.
14. Negotiation sessions may be recorded by either or both parties and the Union can share such recordings with its membership.
The Company was agreeable to the Ground Rules with the exceptions of:
2. No binding agreement.
9. This is to be decided. Using a local printer may be preferable to both parties.
11. Posting the Agreement on the company Intranet is "to be determined".
12. Company said No. 12 was unlikely. They will pass it by senior Management. Not that forward thinking, yet.
14. The Company said they aren't going to break new ground by allowing recording of bargaining sessions.
While neither party exchanged Bargaining Agendas, there was plenty of discussion on how to proceed and trends in the industry. Also, Sanders and Potter confirmed that there is a plan in place to continue defined pension benefits for Ingevity employees. Total time of employment will be used to determine the level of pension benefit due Ingevity employees post spin-off.
Surveys have also been released in Carbon for spin off related issues.
We will provide further bargaining news as it develops.
In Solidarity, Local 675 Bargaining Committee