Local 12075-18 Negotiates Strong Contract With Trinseo

Local 12075-18 members on March 24 ratified by a 3 to 1 margin a three-year contract at the Trinseo plant in Midland, Mich., that included wage hikes and benefit gains that improve work-life balance.

“Ninety-eight percent of our members showed up to vote on the contract,” said Local 12075-18 President Mike Crosson. “The contract was very favorable for us.”

The three-year contract started Feb. 15, 2022 and expires Feb. 15, 2025. Workers received back pay to Feb. 15.

Everyone received a 5 percent wage increase the first year, 4 percent raise the second year and 4 percent wage increase the third—a total increase of 13 percent over the contract term, which will help workers in this time of high inflation. They also obtained a $500 signing bonus.

Trinseo’s wage scale is divided into four tiers of knowledge and experience, ranging from Tier 1, where new employees have a walk-through knowledge of the chemical process, to Tier 4, where the worker is a head operator with much responsibility for the shift.

As workers gain more knowledge of the different processing units, they go up a tier and get a pay raise. Crosson said the local negotiated an immediate $1 increase in base pay for the head operators because of the responsibility they carry and to acknowledge their experience and knowledge of the chemical processes and units.

Workers received two more paid holidays and one more floating holiday. They now have 10 paid holidays and three floating holidays. 

Local negotiators also secured two big wins for work-life balance: Male employees will now get four weeks of paid parental leave, and everyone gets 80 hours of paid sick time to take care of family members or themselves. This is significant because many chemical companies force their employees to use their vacation time if they or their family members are sick.

Crosson said the local has in its contract language that the company cannot take away wages, benefits or make changes in working conditions unless salaried employees have to do so as well.

“My bargaining committee was awesome and came well-prepared to the table so that when the company gave its proposals, we had a good idea of what they wanted in advance,” Crosson said.

Local 12075-18 members work as chemical operators or in logistics. Trinseo was formerly known as Styron—Dow’s plastics and latex business—before Dow sold it to Bain Holdings in 2010.

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