Thursday, May 01, 2008

Negotiation Update

Negotiations continued on Wednesday April 30th and Thursday May 1st at which time several tentative agreements were reached. As tentative agreements are reached, they will be posted here so everyone will be aware of what we are discussing at the table.

I really apologize that more has not been reported on the actual negotiations but language in our proposals as well as the company's proposals can, and do change from each proposal and counter proposal given back and forth. We have presented and received numerous proposals and are continuing to discuss language that both sides can be comfortable with and agree to.

As far as the tentative agreements we have reached, they pertain to

"Voluntary Separation Package" (for recent buy-outs)
"Recognition and Jurisdiction"
"Arbitration"
"Jury Duty"
"Funeral Leave"(packaged)
"Cafeterias"(packaged)

The "packaged" proposals were presented by the company in which they agreed to funeral leave language in exchange for an agreement giving them sole discretion regarding the cafeterias and vending machines. The cafeterias and vending machines are for the convenience of all employees and we felt that the company's decision to provide cafeteria services and vending machines, (or not), rests solely on their shoulders.

We have presented several other proposals which the company views to be restrictive and costly so they continue to seek language giving them flexibility. We are willing to create language giving them the flexibility they seek, but not at the expense of fair agreements for our bargaining unit.

We are making progress and are optimistic about future negotiations. The downside obviously is the lack of time actually spent at the table. As I stated previously, this will take time, so continue to be patient and support the committee and it's efforts to present and protect our interests.

International representative Sonny Shannon is doing an exemplary job in presenting our proposals as did Mike Huggins' and we hope to have Mike back at the table for our next scheduled negotiations.

If you have any questions, as always, I encourage you to ask any of the negotiation committee members and we will provide you with the answers you seek.

In solidarity

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