La Crosse IAM Locals 21 & 1115 Ratify Agreement, End Strike at Trane

Members of IAM Local 21 and 1115, on strike at heating and air conditioner-maker Trane Co. in La Cross, WI, gather to vote on a new four-year contract proposal.

Members of IAM Local 21 and 1115 have ratified a new four-year contract with heating and air conditioner-maker Trane Co. Wednesday, bringing to end a four-day strike in La Crosse, WI.

Thanks to the resolve and solidarity of the nearly 500 production, maintenance and tool and die makers, the IAM members were able to secure significant improvements to the initial agreement. Those improvements include wage increases throughout the term of the contract, perfect attendance bonuses, and vacation and overtime language that strikes a better balance between work and family life.

“Thank you and congratulations to the members of IAM Local 21 and 1115 for your tenacity and strength,” said IAM District 66 Directing Business Representative Neil Kamrowski. “By laying down your tools and taking a stance, we improved on a significant number of key issues you indicated were important to you and your family. A special thank you to the Bargaining Committee for all the hours and hard work you’ve put into this process from start to finish. And thank you to the Midwest Territory, Grand Lodge Representative Rick Mickschl who was also on-hand throughout negotiations, and Communications Representative LaToya Egwuekwe-Smith who allowed us to better communicate with our members throughout this whole process.  The support from our other non-IAM and IAM brothers and sisters was very positive, as well as the support we received from the public.”

“Congratulations to the members of IAM Local 21 and 1115, Directing Business Representative Neil Kamrowski and the entire Bargaining Committee,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Philip J. Gruber. “Today you’ve shown other workers what happens when workers unite and fight for what they rightfully deserve. In a world driven by Big Business and Big Money, nothing is given to workers willingly. You must fight for it. That fight starts and ends with unions. On behalf of our great union and working families everywhere, thank you and congratulations on a job well done.”

The post La Crosse IAM Locals 21 & 1115 Ratify Agreement, End Strike at Trane appeared first on IAMAW .

The Devil Is in the Details

IAM Local Lodge 2902 Negotiating Committee (L to R) Porter Timmons, Rigo Contreras and Vince Hernandez

Before a pilot can hit the skies, he or she needs to practice and ends up logging a lot hours on flight simulators before ever leaving the ground.  These training machines have become invaluable tools for pilots.  And taking care of these simulators is a very important task that the members of the IAMAW have been doing proudly for close to a decade. 

“A Union contract isn’t just about dollars and cents.  A lot of time the benefits of an IAM contract is found in the details.  Although a raise is always good for union families, our members realize that strengthening work rules and bringing classifications together creates rewards that will last generations, showing the company that we are sincere in our solidarity to the labor movement and our cause,” said IAM’s Southern Territory General Vice President Mark A. Blondin.

The IAM bargaining unit at Fidelity Technologies Corporation consists of members in three separate classifications who work as Simulator Technicians.  These workers perform preventive maintenance and repairs to the simulators used by pilots in the U.S. Armed Services and U.S. Coast Guard at NAS Whiting Field located in Florida’s panhandle. From the surveys, it was clear these members needed and wanted a wage increase.  But a closer look at the details of the contract made it clear other changes needed to happen as well.

“When Fidelity was awarded the contract, some of the members were reclassified and ended up taking a pay cut.  Our goal was to attempt to get some of that back and we did, with a little extra”, said Brad Smith, District 75 Business Representative.  “We were able to get increases for all classifications, which worked out to about a nine percent rise in wages over the three years of this agreement, as well as additional money for the pension and health and welfare increases.”

But this Negotiating Committee didn’t stop there.  Together, they were able to secure items such as company funding for computer certifications, improvements to sick and personal time and clarified overtime language and rules. 

“When presented to the members, this first-time committee was applauded for all the improvements in this proposal.  That’s not something you see all the time,” said Smith happily. “It was a proud moment for Local Lodge 2902, IAM District 75 and the Machinists Union when the members recognize the value of their hard work.”

The post The Devil Is in the Details appeared first on IAMAW .