AMETEK Contract Reports

LOCAL 201 MEMBERS VOTE TO APPROVE
NEW AMETEK CONTRACT 89% to 11% 

     After 2 extensions and about 20 bargaining sessions, on Monday, July 28, IUE-CWA Local 201 finally was able to reach a “tentative” Contract Settlement with Ametek Aerospace on a new 4 year pact.
     The agreement was recommended by the entire Union negotiating team as it accomplished Local 201’s main goals due to the Unity shown by the Membership.
     During a membership meeting on July 29, members voted an 89% acceptance vote in a secret ballot vote. Local 201 had released 12 communication leaflets during the negotiations and numerous newspaper articles keeping members abreast and united around the issues
     These negotiations were extremely complex. Local 201 was determined to negotiate good terms for the new jobs in the development shop, without selling short the remaining traditional jobs. The Union wanted to provide the best possible benefits for those who will be leaving but also wanted to maintain decent wages and working conditions for those who will continue to work at Ametek. And, because of recent events in the shop, the Union had to restore respect for our members’ seniority without losing focus on bread and butter issues like retirement benefits, health care and wages. Of course any final agreement is the result of compromise. But the bargaining committee felt we did well in all the complicated areas we had to address. To their credit, Ametek eventually stepped up in a number of critical areas to seek agreement. Local 201 wants to be very clear: The resolve shown in the plant by our members in the last two weeks, made the difference in securing a decent Contact.

                                                 Reducing Forced Layoffs-
                 SPECIAL RETIREMENT PROGRAM and PVLOW PROGRAM
       (See separate 2 and 3 page info packet for details on these lucrative packages!!)
                              
     The two programs will have the net effect of reducing the upcoming forced layoffs of about 46 members down to only approximately 13. This was a key goal of the Union, as expressed in membership bargaining surveys and a unanimous membership meeting vote!!!!  It also delays forced layoffs from August-Sept. to the October-November time frame. It gave the opportunity for 20 members, 60 years or older by the end of this year, to retire with significantly enhanced retirement benefits and also included a $15,000 severance bonus!  11 out the 20 eligible members ended up choosing this Special Retirement Program. It also presented a Permanent Voluntary Lack of Work Program (PVLOW), with 4 enhanced benefit/severance options, to many other members. 22 members will avail themselves of this opportunity, with many of them taking an option that provided a $30,000 severance bonus!

                                                  JOB SECUITY BENEFITS

      The agreement also renews all current Article XXII benefits ( IEA, Medical, IDP etc) for 4
years in the event of any future layoffs, despite a reduced severance from $6200 to $3000. The agreement improves IDP (educational) benefits for members on layoff from $3500 to $4000. It also provides for meetings between the Company and Union to discuss other possible options to deal with any future layoff situations, should they arise again.

                                                                WAGES

     The settlement provides for4 percentage wage increases 1.5%, 2%, 2%, and 2 % and no lump sum bonuses. It also provides an opportunity for almost 60% of the remaining workforce to bid into newly negotiated higher pay “P” positions increasing wages even more. The 23 “P-18” positions provide for a 4.8% wage increase over a current R-16 rate! The other anticipated 6 “P” rates also provide higher rates than their equivalent “R” rates”.  The overall Wage package is an improvement over our 2005-2008 package, despite the loss of our meager $ 0.15 COLA clause. Our last 3 year Contract provided only 3.5% in general wage increases, 1.2% in COLA’s (and a lump sum bonus not added into base rate). Thus, it provided only a total 4.7% over the 3 years. This 2008 package will provide of 5.5% in general over the first 3 years and includes an extra 3.3% for any R16 bidding into a “P-18” job and extra percentages for others bidding into higher rated “P” jobs. Then there is another 2% general wage increase in the fourth year of the Contract.

MEDICAL

      It provides for 2 options again in Medical Plans (but same coverage)- (1) a Basic Plan with extremely minor contribution increases over the 4 years but slightly higher co-pays and deductibles. In fact, there are no contribution increases until Jan 1, 2010 in this plan from the current level. Then there are only minor contribution increases in the 2nd through 4th years. Members’ contributions go up only $15 monthly for an individual and $25 monthly for a family over 4 years. OR (2) A “High End” Plan with higher contribution increases over 4 years but keeps the current co-pays and deductibles in place. The contribution levels for this plan go up just a bit in 2009, but are steeper in the 2nd through 4th years. Compared to other recent labor negotiations in this country, these medical increases are very small. They are a far cry from the Company’s original demands to double contributions with big increases in all co-pays and deductibles. Short Term Disability benefits went up form $450 to $480 weekly. 

DENTAL

      There will be a $5 monthly contribution for dental beginning Jan 1, 2009. This amount is much lower then the Company was demanding and the amount is frozen at that level for the entire Contract. In addition, beginning Jan 1, 2009 there are 2 dental improvements. The Orthodontic lifetime maximum is being increased from $1000 lifetime to $1500 lifetime and the annual entire Dental plan maximum is being increased from $1400 to $1500.

PENSION

     We successfully held off an attack on our dual pension formula and Company proposals which would have severely reduced our future pension earnings accrual. Our current formula is 1.65% on our earnings to $42,000 and 2.10 % on our earnings to $50,500. The Company wanted to have only a 1.65% to $50,500 formula!!  They kept that “on the table” to the last few days. It was totally unacceptable to us. We secured a pension formula of 1.65% to $41,000 and 2.10% to $50,500.  It actually is a slight improvement over the current one. It is locked in for the 4 years. We also succeeded in raising the monthly Regular Pension Supplement from $12.00 to $13.00 per month per year of service and raised the Special Pension Supplement from $225 to $275 monthly. In addition we maintained the $450 monthly Additional Pension Supplement. The Disability Pension Supplement was increased from $108.33 per month to $125.00 per month.

RECALL/DISPLACEMENT/UPGRADING
SENIORITY PROTECTION

     With the recent attitudes displayed by some in management regarding our seniority rights, the Union insisted on this clause. This was a major fight during negotiations to get this in the contract and it was Our Unity that secured it. It means that the “P” positions are not “protected” from future bumping! The key provision of the language is that “any employee, previously holding a P-19 or above, or R18 or above, shall have future displacement/recall rights to the P18 Prototype Assembly classification, if impacted as a result of lack of work, seniority permitting.” There also is a provision so that “future displacement/recall rights to the newR16 Shipper/Receiving classification and G06 classification (or any rated or Graded classification that is lower) shall be granted to all members who have such rights now to the R16 Assembly/Operator position and/or G06.”
     The Company agreed to issue 5 layoffs before the posting of any “P” jobs. We would have preferred more issued “before” to protect seniority more. However, the Company Negotiating Team put out a very strong public letter stating their view on seniority and apologizing for some recent events and misunderstandings. This will be helpful when it comes to seniority being an “important factor” in upgrading issues related to the future posting of these approximate 29 “P” positions.
     There is a change in recall language when the Company isNOT increasing the size of the workforce. It reads “ When the Company is not increasing the size of the workforce, and has a need to fill a position (s) higher then a P18, R16, or a G6, the company will fill this position(s) through internal recall, or in the event that there is no one on internal recall, may use upgrading procedures to fill this position”. When the Company is increasing the size of the workforce, our current recall language in the 2005-2008 agreement will be followed. 

WAGE RATE GUARANTEE & PROGRESSION WILL END

      Effective December 31, 2008, the 6 month rate guarantee (in Article XXII) for any member, directly impacted by a transfer of work, will end. However, any member, that goes on such 6 month rate guarantee by Dec 31, 2008, as a result of this current downsizing, shall be entitled to their full 6 months. There will be no additional rate guarantees given after that date. For giving up this rate guarantee provision, the Union was able to secure the end of any progression schedules for future upgrades occurring on or after Jan 1, 2009. That will mean members will go immediately to job rate on any upgrade after that time! The advantages of this “trade off” seemed obvious to the Committee, considering the size and transition occurring to being a new prototype plant.
     Also, the Union negotiated a “temporary” short progression schedule (for upgrading before Jan 1, 2009) that may apply to some individuals upgrading to new “P” rate positions this year.  

OTHER ITEMS NOT MENTIONED

     Also remember, all other benefit programs previously negotiated, are renewed                      (examples:  Life Insurance, 401K plan, LTDI, Vision etc.).

 GOOD NEWS- LOCAL 201 JUST RECEIVED CERTIFATION APPROVAL FOR TAA AND ATAA BENEFITS! LOCAL 201 ARRANGED FOR AN OFFICIAL MEETING WITH THE STATE’S RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ON AUGUST 5 AT THE PLANT. THIS WILL ALLOW MEMBERS TO REGISTER FOR THE EXTRA BENEFITS AND TRAINING AVAILABLE IN THESE PROGRAMS.


Local 201 Ametek Negotiations
Contract Report #11 
Saturday, July 26, 2008
(Some reports have been distributed in the shop and have not made it onto this web-site.)

     Negotiations went all day Friday July 25 and much progress was made.

     The Company Negotiating team released an official statement apologizing for some recent events and stating they do recognize and appreciate the skills, abilities and seniority of the Wilmington union workforce. They also agreed to reconstruct the recent filling of the G11 and take into account seniority, as an important factor, in that upgrade. They also agreed to the Union’s proposal on future displacement rights related to the new “P” Positions with one minor modification. The Company also agreed to some acceptable resolutions regarding a couple of individuals’ situations trying to take PVLOW and SPECIAL RETIREMENT OPTIONS.

     The Company and Union went back and forth all day with proposals and counter proposals on economic issues. The Company kept insisting on the elimination of our meager $0.15 cent capped COLA provision but did increase all their percentage wage proposals as a compromise, and included all current members in the first years increase and backdated that increase to June 2nd, 2008 .The Company also was agreeable to a Union proposal to raise the base rate of one of the New “P” rates.

     The Company withdrew their horrible Pension proposal that destroyed our dual formula and lowered our annual accruals toward pensions. However, their last proposal on Friday was still not acceptable to the Union.

     The Company and Union agreed to have discussions by phone over the weekend over the Pension formula and various other parts of the package to see if the differences can be clarified better for the start of Negotiations Monday, July 28. The Union negotiating team is meeting at 9:00AM Monday and it is anticipated that negotiations will resume around 10:00 or 11:00 AM with the Company.

     If a “Tentative Settlement” is reached today, the Union will attempt to get out a detailed Summary out to members as soon as possible- either Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning. Thank you for your patience, support, and unity.

 


 


  

Thanks for approving the Contract extension yesterday. I know the vote almost “tilted” the other way. I fully understand the justifiable anger that surfaced. However, you made the right decision at the end. I also respect the “call” for a vote (that we did not ask for) to give your Negotiating Committee Strike Authorization. The fact that the vote was unanimous showed your Committee the depth of your anger and this Committee totally understands why you are so upset!

We are approaching the end of Contract negotiations. If we are unsuccessful in reaching an agreement by Tuesday, July 29 at midnight, it is highly likely we will be on strike. We have successfully negotiated decent Special Retirement and Permanent Voluntary Lack of Work Programs, and held on to most of our Article XXII benefits. We made progress against Company demands to double our medical contributions and significantly raise all our co-pays, deductibles, etc. The Company has negotiated fairly in these areas.

RESPECT - OUR SKILLS, ABILITIES, AND SENIORITY!

However, SOME Company people have apparently decided to NOT RESPECT many of our members’ seniority, abilities or skills. This became apparent in the recent filling of a G11 job by upgrading and also evident with arguments over the timing of filling new “P” positions. It is clear that SOME MEMBERS OF MANAGEMENT do not recognize (at all) the contract language that states that “Seniority is an important factor” in upgrading procedures. The disrespect for Seniority (and long service members’ skills) then became even more evident with their refusal to agree to VERY REASONABE language on future bumping rights on the new “P-18” and “R-16” positions (that were totally agreeable to many local management people that know what we are talking about).  Wait until all our skilled R-18 and above rates desert their HIGH SKILLED positions to bid for the “P” (“PROTECTED FROM BUMPING”) positions. Yeah- that will really be helpful for the business!!!!!

Our language protects the business and members. SOME in management do not apparently understand this! The G11 position needs to be immediately reconstructed and filled with the most senior applicant (who happens to have STRONG qualifications too!). THE PROPOSED DISPLACEMENT LANGUAGE SHOULD BE PUT IN THE CONTRACT.  The Company should recognize Seniority as “an important factor” (per Contract) in upgrading to the “P” jobs. Members with 25-40 years service deserve this respect! It really appears that SOME in the Company “feel” there are members that are either not productive or capable of being productive. Well, there are morerespectful ways to deal with these isolated situations!!!! Manage the business and do not dismantle our Contract! Do not DISRESPECT THE SKILLS, ABILITIES and SENIORITY of our entire workforce due to any shortcomings you may have in past managing!

RESPECT OUR PENSION PLAN!

We withdrew all changes for improvements in our pension formula. We are willing to keep the same formula with no changes. But apparently SOME in the Company want you to have less. They want to eliminate the duel pension formula by eliminating the second higher part of the formula, and keep only the low end of the formula capped at the same level. Your future pension earnings would get drastically reduced from what you have been earning!  They put a CAP on pension earnings years ago but that is apparently not enough for some in the Company. They want to really hurt your future pension earnings this time.  Respect our Pension Plan!

RESPECT OUR “COLA”!

Our Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) is a meager $.15 per year. It is capped at that level. We have withdrawn all our legitimate proposals for raising the CAP. Again, that is not enough for SOME in the Company- they want your COLA eliminated! And they want it eliminated just when fuel prices and inflation is skyrocketing! On top of this, their entire wage proposal is “skimpy”. This is just plain overreaching and greed. Ametek makes good profits and has healthy stock. We wantyour contributions to this effort acknowledged. Share the wealth that YOU helped build. Again, a bit of respect?

INTERNATIONAL UNION

I have been in consultation with our National IUE-CWA Conference Board Chairman and have submitted all necessary paper work for Strike Approval. We will be in contact with Senator Ted Kennedy’s and Congressman John Tierney’s office. The IUE-CWA and CWA are behind our efforts for a fair Contract. If needed, we will mount a major press and mobilization campaign throughout the state and beyond.

NEGOTIATIONS

I really hope the Company reconsiders these ill advised and unfair proposals. There is not much time left- midnight Tuesday, July 29 is the deadline. We know you want to help in this tough transition to a development shop. You have worked here for years, are verySKILLED and know the business. Many of you have expressed a desire to me to want to make Wilmington, Ma. Ametek a first class development shop. It is simply a matter of Respect and that will happen if the Company will acknowledge you and respect your part in their profits.

Negotiations resume Friday, July 25. Hang in there.

Thanks for your solid support and staying so united!

RIC



LOCAL 201 AMETEK NEGOTIATIONS
CONTRACT REPORT #8
SATURDAY, JULY 20, 2008

     Local 201 called a Membership Meeting at the plant at lunchtime on Friday July 18, in between contract negotiations.
     Business Agent Ric Casilli gave an update on the status of the bargaining. He characterized it “as the most complicated of any of the 15 Contract Negotiations I have been involved in with GE, Ametek or Veoila. Trying to negotiate a Contract right before half the plant is to be let go and downsized into a new prototype development shop with many new classifications” is a difficult task said Casilli.
     The following is a summary of the report given the membership:
The parties are very close to reaching agreement on establishing 7 new Prototype classifications (“P” classifications) with new higher rates of pay and new job descriptions and also one new “R” Shipping/Receiving classification. The Company is eliminating or phasing out many old classifications, including the large R16 Assembler/Operator classification, in this transition to a development shop. The Company is forecasting that about 29 members will bid into these new “P” classifications, about 6 members into the new R15 Shipping/ Receiving positions, and about 15 members will fill positions in current traditional “R” and “G” classifications

The Union has been resisting attempts of the Company posting any of these jobs before reductions and layoffs occur. The parties have agreed that the Retirements and Voluntaries, going out under the special negotiated programs, will exit on July 31, 2008 pending a successful acceptance of a new contract. 12 members selected the Special Retirement Option and approx. 20- 25 members could take the voluntary. This would leave about 60 -65 members still working.

The Company has agreed that the next step will occur on August 15 with 8-12 members being issued layoffs to the street. No agreement has been reached on the exact number but at this point this first layoff should bring the numbers down to 50- 57 members working.

Then, during the week of August 18, some jobs will be posted to fill “P” jobs. The Union and Company have not agreed how many of the 29 positions will be posted at this time. The Union wants only half of them posted at this time or until such time as the last layoffs have occurred to the street (expected to be in early September). The Company seems to want to post them all before the last small layoff. The Union is trying to minimize potential future seniority violation disputes with the Company.

The following are the new Prototype positions being discussed, with the number in parentheses representing the expected number of jobs in each classification initially

P-18 Prototype Assembly Technician (23)
P-19 Welder Technician (2)
P-20 Prototype Assembly Technician II (1)
P-20 Incoming Inspector (1)
P-21 Technician Specialist (0)
P-23 Machinist (0)
P-25 Machining Technician (2)                                   
                                      Total = 29

There will also be 6 new R16 Shipping/Receiving positions and 15 current traditional classification positions, thus making up a union workforce of about 50 members.

Future displacement/recall rights involving the new “P” jobs being discussed were explained at themembership meeting and the BA called“for unity and support by all members for the seniority system and for defending the wages, benefits and rights of those that shall remain working at the plant.” 

     Negotiations resume on Monday, July 21 and are expected to go into the evening. The sides are far apart on wage, medical, and pension proposals!



Local 201 Ametek Negotiations
Contract Report #7
Wednesday, July 16, 2008 – 12:30 PM

     Negotiations are resuming today at 1:30PM after a lengthy recess due to the Ametek Shutdown. Due to a death in the family of the Company's Chief Negotiator, discussions on the important economic issues have been delayed to next Monday, July 21.
     The deadline to apply for one of the Permanent Voluntary Lack of Work Options has been extended to this Friday July 18. The Union wants to make one thing very clear to our members. This Program was negotiated to help reduce forced lack of works and thus it was an enriched package in terms of having more options and extra benefits attached. The regular contract package being negotiated now, concerning benefits and options for anyone forced out on lack of work (but retain recall rights) will not be better then this voluntary package (where you give up recall rights). If you are still interested in applying- let AMETEK know at once. Also, AMETEK is now reviewing some member's applications that were put in "hold status" as to whether they may offer it to them.
     The official deadline has passed to put in for the Special Retirement Program. However, if you missed the deadline and are having "second thoughts" that you should take it- let your Union know IMMEDIATELY and we will see if anything can be done. Again, this Retirement Program will be significantly better then anything that is negotiated into the new contract in regards to amount and length of the supplements, and

the medical, severance and death benefit provisions attached to these one time program options.
     Remember that both these Programs are contingent on Local 201 reaching a full Contract Settlement by Friday July 25. There are still many important items "on the table" including wages, medical, pensions, Article XXII, early retirement benefits, and new prototype classifications.
 


Local 201 Ametek Negotiations
Contract Report # 6
FRIDAY, JUNE 20, 2008

     Contract Negotiations continued into the evening on Thursday, June 19 and resumed again Friday morning June 20. As you are well aware, the Union and Company had previously tentatively agree on a SPECIAL RETIREMENT OPTION and PERMANENT VOLUNTARY LACK OF WORK PROGRAM. Eligible members have to July 15, 2008 to sign up for one of these plans if they so choose. These plans are really good packages and it is anticipated that they will reduce significantly the number of members that would eventually be forced out on lack of work “to the street”. The parties worked hard together to come up with these opportunities for members.
                                                     Biggest Problem Areas
    
However, there are some SERIOUS problems in how negotiations are progressing in the major economic areas of Medical, Pension, Wages, Article XXII (layoff benefits) and Early Retirement (55 –59 by 12/31/08). ** (55-58 was a misprint in previous communication, it should have read 55-59)
     AMETEK’s proposals, in regards to Medical, have been terrible!!
They are asking for employee/family contributions to DOUBLE and also have asked for significant increases in deductibles, out of pocket maximums, and all office visit and prescription co-pays. They offered just a slight improvement in Short-Term Disability (STD) pay.
     The Company’s response to the Union’s Pension Proposals was equally bad. Their Pension Proposal actually lowers members future pension earnings rather then improving them!
     The Company’s Wage Package contains multiple lump sums, miniscule wage % increases and eliminates our current COLA clause!!!! The money would not even make up for the added costs heaped on members from their medical proposals. They have made a proposal for some new prototype classifications, with increased pay rates, anticipated to be in the vicinity of 28 to 32 positions out of the approximate 50 positions remaining in Wilmington.
     In addition, AMETEK has continued to reject numerous different Union proposals to improve Early Retirement Options for members 55 to 59 by 12- 31- 2008. The Company likewise has continued to reject Union proposals attempting to improve Article XXII benefits for any member forced out on layoff “to the street”.
     Local 201 is officially filing for TAA (Trade Adjustment Assistance) & ATAA
certifications on Monday June 23. We have won 3 past certifications and anticipate being approved again. This would make available extra unemployment and training benefits for individuals leaving the plant and wishing to join their programs. BA Ric Casilli is arranging to have the AFL-CIO Rapid Response Team to come to AMETEK to explain the Programs. It is tentatively being set for July 1, time to be determined.
                                                  SERIOUS SITUATION
     Without significant movement in many of the above key economic areas, it is unlikely a total tentative agreement will be reached.
That, of course, would nullify the Special Retirement and Voluntary Layoff Programs. Negotiations have now recessed to July 15 due to schedule conflicts and shutdown. Our current Contract expires July 25.
     The Company has indicated it is CRUCIAL that they meet their production schedules and shipping dates this month. The UNION strongly urges our member’s cooperation in helping assure that happens!
     Such cooperation, in our opinion, can only result in a much more positive affect at the negotiating table, in your union trying to address these significant economic gaps. Please help out!



Local 201 Ametek Negotiations
Contract Report # 5
Friday June 13, 2008
(Corrected 6/19/08)

     Contract Negotiations resumed on Thursday June 12, 2008.
     The parties continued to discuss a Company proposal to introduce a number of new Job Classifications into the plant to better reflect the shift from production work to prototype work. The Union has requested job descriptions for the proposed classifications and then shall be able to review the wage rates connected to them based on skill, care and effort of the job duties. It appears the Company is proposing, that about 60% of the jobs in the plant, would fall into these new Prototype (P) Classifications There has been much discussion on how the jobs would get filled (by upgrading) and the timing of retirements, voluntaries and forced lack of works relative to the posting of any new jobs. The Union is very concerned that seniority be followed in terms of any forced layoffs and seniority be “the important factor” in upgrading, with qualifications taken into account. Some progress has been made in trying to sort this all out. The Union has requested a “timeline” of events concerning any reductions and any new job classification bidding.
     The Company made an extensive Counter Proposal to Union all union economic demand areas, summarized below:

The Company’s Medical Plan offer was terrible! It called for major increases in member’s contributions for medical, called for contributions for the dental plan, raised all co-pays for doctor’s visits and prescriptions, raised deductibles significantly, and raised the out of pocket maximums members would have to pay. In addition, there were no improvements in the medical plan coverage and only minor improvements in dental and disability coverage. This offer was NOT even close to being acceptable to the Union!!!

The Company also rejected all Union demands for improvements in Article XXII job loss benefit areas such as improvements in Income Extension Aid, Insurance, and the $6200 Bonus for forced layoff individuals. In fact, the Company wants that bonus eliminated, after the upcoming pending layoff, going forward in the future.

The Company did offer some minor improvements in 2 of our 3 Pension supplements (not as good as improvements in the current one time Retirement package being offered now) but fell far short in addressing the pension formula break points and cap problems hurting member’s future pension earnings for members remaining employed in the plant. They also are refusing to renew the “up to 5 year COBRA availability” agreement for members wishing to retire (after 60 years old) going forward in the future. (This provision is available under the current one-time Retirement Package being offered now.)

The Company has rejected a Union Proposal for a modest COLA clause on Pensions for past and future retirees and has rejected a Union demand for a paid Veteran’s Day holiday.

The Company’s Wage proposal is far from adequate and the Company has also proposed eliminating our COLA wage clause. The Union rejected this.

The Union presented counter offers in all medical, wage, pension, retiree and Article XXII areas.

Local 201 also has presented the Company with a new Early Retirement Option Proposal, for 55 to 59 year olds (by 12-31-08), if forced out or opt out under the PVLOW program, in this one time bigger reduction.

Some Contract Language items are also still be discussed by the parties.

     Negotiations have recessed and will resume on Thursday June 19 and Friday June 20.

 NOTE:
Hopefully, individuals interested in the One Time Special Retirement Option (explained May 22 at the plant) will have received their Pension numbers soon to help them make a decision. This Retirement Option is a very good package. Also, anyone (not eligible for the Retirement Option) many apply for one of the 4 Voluntary Layoff Options- see union E- Board Member Steve Brodie or Ametek HR to apply. These are agreed upon programs pending final agreement on a new Contract.


                            LOCAL 201 AMETEK CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS
                                                   CONTRACT REPORT # 4
                                                   Thursday, May 22, 2008

     Ametek Local 201 members, voted overwhelmingly, on Tuesday May 20, to approve an extension of our current Contract from June 2 to July 25. The extension was recommended, by the Union Negotiating Committee, so the union and company would have time to “roll out” a tentative agreement (that was close to being reached) regarding a one time Special Retirement Program and a Voluntary Layoff Program.
     This extension would give time for members to make decisions on these programs and give both parties some direction for the rest of negotiations on what issues may be a priority. The Union fought hard for these Programs to give our members better retirement options and to hopefully reduce the number of forced layoffs. It was the number one demand on membership surveys! Contrary to rumors, the Company never indicated at any time to the Union, that they were “trying to get rid of the old people”. In fact the Union had to fight hard to secure this retirement package. The Company continues to maintain they want a workforce going forward that has the proper SKILLS and never has referenced “age” in those criteria.
     After the extension was approved, negotiations immediately resumed Tuesday afternoon and the Company and Union did in fact reach a “tentative” agreement on these two programs, pending approval by July 25 of a membership ratified entire Contract. Negotiations now have recessed for a 3 week period due Company schedule conflicts and to “roll out” details of these 2 programs. Negotiations are scheduled to resume on Thursday, June 12.
     The Company and Union held an important meeting with individuals 60 years or older (by 12-31-2008) at the plant on Thursday May 22 to present details and answer questions on the one time Special Retirement Option. The option significantly improves the monies in the regular supplement and extends the length of it, improves the number of individuals eligible for the special supplement while also improving the monies and extends the length of it, continues the additional supplement, provides for some large severance bonuses, and allows for cobra coverage to 65 Medicare eligibility under and AETNA HMO Plan. It is a one time offer and significant improvement over the current contract retirement packages in these areas. Members received hand outs of the package and have to July 15 to make a decision. Many members expressed excitement with the package.
     The Company has requested the Pension Plan to provide pension numbers for individuals eligible and will be bringing a Pension Plan person to the plant to meet with individuals sometime during the next few weeks.
     The Company and Union also agreed on a one time Voluntary Layoff Program for individuals under age 60 (by 12-31-2008) with 4 options so as to appeal to individuals with different personal situations. This program’s details may be out as early as Friday May 23, but certainly by next week. The program is open to anyone (not eligible for the retirement options) to apply but the Company does have the final say on whether they will approve any applicant for actually taking it. The program has options tailored to those that need health insurance and Income Extension Aid (IEA) for periods, for those that may only need health insurance for a period of time, for those that may need only IEA, and for those that may not need either. Two options have improved IEA SEVERANCE BONUSES (after one year) and three options have improved immediate SEVERANCE INCENTIVE LUMP SUMS (immediately upon layoff). Watch for details as they are released soon!
     The next 3 week period will involve individuals making choices under these options. It would be helpful, as people make their decisions one way or another, that they let the Company and/or Union know their intentions. This would be extremely beneficial to the negotiating process when it resumes on Thursday June 12. Contract Negotiations still have to deal with the key issues of pension, medical, job loss benefits, wages, skills/ seniority , 55-59 year old early retirement programs, possible new prototype job classifications, as well as some contract language issues dealing with upgrading and recall rights. We still have a long way to go to reach a total Contract settlement package.



                    LOCAL 201 AMETEK CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS
                                       CONTRACT REPORT # 3

     Local 201 is engaged in intense negotiations with Ametek Aerospace for our 100 Local 201 Wilmington plant members. This is an extremely complex negotiation, as it involves bargaining in the face of pending downsizing (approximately in half) into a development shop this year. Due to the complexity of this negotiation, both sides agree that “an extension” of our current Contract from June 2 to July 25 is a necessity if we wish to maximize our chances of reaching a successful agreement. Thus, Local 201 is calling a membership meeting of Ametek members on Monday May 19 to request they vote to approve an extension of our current Contract. A short meeting and vote of Local 201 Ametek members will be held at 11:30 AM in upstairs training room at the Wilmington plant
     The extension is critical, as it will give the parties time to “roll out” to members, some tentative agreements we have made concerning a “One Time Special Retirement Option” and a selective Permanent Voluntary Layoff Option (PVLO). This will give individuals extra time to get their retirement figures, look at the programs, and make decisions by July 15 before any total final contract package is agreed too.
     If the extension approval is in place, Local 201 and the Company will hold meetings with individuals interested and eligible for these options to fully explain them. A Retirement or Voluntary layoff , under these options would occur August 1st, provided Local 201 and Ametek reach final agreement on a new Contract (approved by vote of our Ametek membership) prior to the July 25 extended expiration date.
     The union Negotiating Committee is especially excited by the tentative “One Time Special Retirement Option” we have agreed upon. It is a really good package for members that are 60 years or older by 12-31-08. It should help quite a few individuals retire in dignity and save the jobs of a number of our younger members!
    
However, the negotiating committee knows there is still much hard bargaining to do to reach a final agreement for this to happen.  Critical issues are 55-59 year old retirement options, layoff benefits, pension improvements, wages, health care benefits, possible new classifications, and upgrade, recall and seniority rights.
     On Friday, May 16 the Union and Company went back and forth with proposals and counter proposals covering many areas. The Company has rejected many union demands and is “reviewing” some others. The Company has put forward a proposal with major medical plan contribution increases for members.
     Negotiations resume Monday May 19 at 1:00PM following the membership meeting at 11:30AM at the plant.



                       IUE-CWA LOCAL 201 AMETEK NEGOTIATIONS

                 CONTRACT REPORT # 2 – MONDAY, MAY 12, 2008

      Local 201 and Ametek met on Thursday, May 8 and Friday May 9 attempting to work out a new Labor Agreement.
     Most of the two sessions involved Local 201 explaining all the proposals the union had previously put “on the table” in areas of retirement incentives and job loss benefits. Based on discussions with the Company, the Union modified and clarified proposals in these areas specifically in areas dealing with pension supplements, pre-65 retiree medical insurance and retirement bonuses. In addition, Local 201 had proposals structured to expand the potential group that may wish to retire below the normal age 60 retirement age. The union proposals were designed to reduce the numbers of members that would be forced out on layoff this year.
     The Company indicated that the union proposals were expensive but that they could work with the overall principle of trying to give retirement incentives to those 60 years of age and over, while possibly offering a voluntary layoff package to some other employees. They indicated little interest in improving the regular job loss benefit package (currently in Article XXII) for any employee forced out.
     The Company announced that their main desire in these Contract talks was to ensure that they retain the proper skill sets in the plant to be successful in transitioning the plant from a production to a development plant. They said they were looking to retain a highly motivated and mobile workforce that had sufficient skills to adapt to constantly changing business needs that are called for in a development shop. They said this shop will be smaller with an open floor plan, and be more a more tightly managed business. They said retaining the proper skill set was critical to the plant being successful and presented the possibility of a number of new more skilled “prototype” classifications.
     Local 201, in response, indicated that the union understood the Company’s desires and could work with them in this transition process. The union told the Company that we felt the best way to achieve that was through a good retirement incentive program open to the largest group of members possible and an improvement in job loss benefits. The union also said that we would not oppose a Company voluntary lack of work program offer or enforcing their current rights to manage the business tighter. The Union also told the Company that utilizing current Article X upgrading language properly should allow them to get individuals with strong skill sets into most of any new prototype classifications that potentially could be agreed upon.
     Much debate ensued over this “skill set” need of the Company and how they could be insured this would happen, while taking into account union seniority concerns. This discussion shall continue.
     The parties also discussed the potential need for an extension of this current labor agreement beyond June 2, 2008 due to the complexity of attempting to negotiate a Contract immediately preceding major downsizing and transformation of the plant that impacts so many employees in different ways, especially ones with retirement decisions. Nothing was decided on this point but both sides indicated they were open to considering it for at least up to a 60 day period if it becomes necessary.
     Negotiations shall resume this Thursday afternoon, May 15 with an additional all day session on Friday May 16.

 Jeff Crosby                Ric Casilli              Alex Brown                Steve Brodie
 President                     B.A                         VP/RS                        E-Board

 (Other union Negotiating Committee members- Doug Gisonno, Peter Antonelli,
Jim Legrow, and Dick Boisvert)


 


LOCAL 201 OPENS CONTRACT WITH AMETEK
(CONTRACT REPORT # 1)

     Negotiations opened at the Hilton Hotel in Woburn, MA on April 23, between IUE-CWA Local 201 and Ametek Aerospace. The current labor agreement, covering 100 Local 201 Members, expires June 3, 2008.
     As explained in the last issue of the 201 News, negotiations open under the specter of forecasted layoffs that could reduce the workforce almost in half by the end of 2008. The negotiations take place on a stage set by the devastating effects of NAFTA and US “Free Trade” Policy, but on a stage where Local 201 has been able to cushion the blow for members from feeling the worst impact of those national polices.
     In the opening day of negotiations, Local 201 presented bargaining proposals to deal with the forecasted job loss situation, presenting proposals to improve retirement, early retirement, and job loss income and benefit programs for members.
    
In opening statements, the Local 201 Business Agent Ric Casilli stressed the difficulty of these negotiations in trying to structure a Contract that deals with multiple membership problems- reducing the number of forced layoffs by improving retirement, early retirement, and voluntary layoff incentives while also improving the wages, medical and pensions of those members that will be remain working at the plant. Casilli also outlined the 19 year Contract negotiations history between Ametek from 1989 (when sold by GE) to present, as most of the Company Negotiating Committee is new.
     Local 201 made detailed presentations on union proposals in all the areas above. The head HR manager asked many clarification questions on union proposals and stated basically the union was asking for “a lot”. The Union’s feeling is that the historical (and current situation) at the plant calls for “a lot” for members, most who have given over 25 years of their lives working hard for the company’s healthy profits.
     Local 201 then presented benefit proposals that included holdingdown medical costs, and improving medical, disability, and dental benefits. The Union told the Company a Vision Care improvement proposal would be forthcoming in upcoming meetings.
     As we go to press on April 24, the Company is presenting their Contract Language proposals. They informed the Union they had “a lot” of proposals in this area.
     The Union replied “we have few proposals in Contract Language areas as we are not concentrating on proposals there”.  The Union said it is stressing the need to structure a Contract that deals with the immediate situation and contract areas “GIVINGMORE OF OUR MEMBERS INCENTIVES TO RETIRE” to reduce forced layoffs. This comes in light of the Company’s Feb 1, 2008 announcement of plans to reduce the workforce approximately in half by the end of the year.
     Negotiations have taken a scheduled 2 week recess and shall resume in the afternoon on Thurs May 8 with a full day session scheduled on Friday May 9.
     It is anticipated that the Union shall be making its Wage proposal at that time and all issues then will be out on the “table” for more fruitful discussion on an entire package.
     Negotiations are scheduled to conclude by Wednesday May 21 due to holidays, company schedule conflicts, and time for union membership information and votes (IF there is a tentative agreement with the negotiating committee). The current contract expires June 3, 2008.
     Membership Contract reports will be issued on line at Local 201’s Web Site at: www.local201iuecwa.org when there is new information to report. This article will be titled LOCAL 201/AMETEK CONTRACT REPORT #1.
     We are reviewing the necessity of having a phone Contract
Hot Line, as we have done in the past.  With so many of our members having access to the internet and being capable of printing out our reports for other members, we may not need a phone Hot Line. Let your negotiating Committee know if you think one is necessary.
     In addition, we ask all our members age 59 or over (this year) to TALK to members of your negotiating Committee about any interest you may have in retiring. It could have major impact on the direction of these negotiations!!!
     Members of your Negotiating Committee are BA Ric Casilli, Pres. Jeff Crosby, VP Alex Brown, E-Board Steve Brodie, Steward Dick Boisvert, Steward Jim Legro, and elected members Doug Gisono and Peter Antonelli.


AMETEK TO EXIT “PRODUCTION” IN WILMINGTON
To Become a “Development” Plant
(This is a reprint of an IUE-CWA Local 201 communication put out at the Ametek, Wilmington plant on Feb. 6th, ’08)

     On Friday February 1, Local 201 met with representatives of Ametek for the annual State of the Business Meeting. Representing the Union was President Jeff Crosby, Business Agent Ric Casilli, VP Alex Brown, Board member Steve Brodie, Steward Dick Boisvert and Steward Jim Legro. The Company representatives were Business Unit VP Gary Kline, VP of Operations Frank Fantacanti and VP of HR (A&D) Randy Longo.
     The Company said they had made a decision on the future direction of the Wilmington Plant. As we all have expected (since the late 1990’s) from the continued transfers of work, the plant was getting out of the “production” business citing competitive reasons. This is consistent with Company statements and actions over the last few years. What we did not know was how long it would take or whether the Wilmington plant would be shut down.
     The Company made it clear that they plan to exit out of doing most production work by January 1, 2009 and shift the plant almost entirely into a development COE (Center of Excellence).
     They said they will be signing a lease for either a smaller section of the present building or a lease for a smaller facility, within a 25 mile radius of Wilmington MA., honoring our Labor Agreement and keeping a portion of the present workforce. The Company indicated there would be no temporary lack of works due to the “moving process” itself.
     The Company said the number of permanent employees will be less by Jan 1, 2009
(101 Bargaining Unit members currently) and the nature of the work will be changing, but they saw a Wilmington development plant here for well into the future They said the workforce would be performing development work which would constantly be changing and the jobs’ duties would require skills and flexibility. They said the jobs that would be here would be “long term” and were looking for a stable workforce well into the future.
     Responding to union questions about what they were terming “development work”, the Company said they were referring to all work that had not been given “full certification status”, generally which could mean for a 6 month to 2 year type of period. They said about 1/3 to 1/2 of our current bargaining unit members now were doing what they broadly refer to as “development work”.  The Company also indicated they would need some employees to do old “legacy” type products in smaller quantities. The Company said they could not provide a “hard number” or even a decent estimate at this time of how many reductions would be needed this year.  However, they did say there would be no major reductions before the June 2, 2008 Union Contract expiration date.
     Following many questions and much discussion, both parties agreed that the upcoming Contract negotiations now became even more critical. It is clear that the number of jobs, job classifications, job rates, early retirement incentives, regular retirement incentives, and pension issues all shall rise in importance for the Union. The Company gave indications they wanted to be more open in communication and would like to reach a mutually acceptable Contract to move forward. They said they were seeking mutually acceptable solutions to help transition the plant into a smaller, skilled, stable, development site well into the future.
     The IUE-CWA Local 201 Negotiating Committee has released Membership Contract surveys to the shop floor. Please fill out and return to your Board member.
The Committee will be meeting early March reviewing these surveys and drawing up contract bargaining proposals in light of this recent Company announcement.
A Membership Meeting for Local 201 Ametek Members will be planned also for sometime in March at Shriner’s Auditorium.

JEFF CROSBY-PRES.         RIC CASILLI- BA         STEVE BRODIE-E-BOARD