Contact: Lynne Hancock, USW, 615-828-6169, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cote Blanche, La.—The United Steelworkers Union (USW) and its Local 14425 reached a new three-year agreement with Carey Salt, a subsidiary of Compass Minerals Inc., after a bitter three-year struggle to achieve a fair and equitable contract at the company’s salt mine here.
Compass Minerals is a mining and materials company headquartered in Overland Park, Kan., with operations in the U.S., Canada and the UK.
Local 14425 represents about 100 workers and its members ratified the agreement on Feb. 25, 2013.
The new agreement includes a 3 percent general wage increase in each year of the contract; increases in shift differential pay; upgrades in pay for several job classifications; and additional pay for doing work outside of the employee’s job duties. Workers also receive increases in life insurance, short-term disability and long-term disability payments.
“While there is much work to do regarding the repair of the relationship between Carey Salt, the workers and the union, our members can be proud that a firm foundation has been restored to their contract,” said USW Assistant to the Director Jim Lefton, who led the negotiating team. “The company gutted their contract in 2010 by illegally implementing its contract proposals and work rules.”
In response the USW filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB affirmed that Carey Salt violated the law when it implemented its contract offer on March 31, 2010 without reaching impasse.
The NLRB also determined that Local 14425 members engaged in an unfair labor practice strike, which began April 7, 2010 and continued until June 15, 2010 when the workers gave an unconditional offer to return to work. There were numerous other labor law violations as well. Settlement of the contract did not resolve the outstanding NLRB issues.
The USW is the largest industrial union in North America and has 850,000 members in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. It represents workers employed in the metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil, energy, government and service sectors.
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