Anchor Bargaining Basics

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What is collective bargaining?

Collective bargaining is the legal process of negotiating an agreement between a labor union and an employer over the terms and conditions of employment, such as wages, hours of work, paid time off, benefits, employment security, and protections against unfair treatment or discharge.

Collective bargaining usually results in a written contract outlining employment terms and conditions.

Why is having a contract important?

Our contract clearly states the terms and conditions of our employment for both bargaining unit members and management and guarantees that we have a grievance and arbitration procedure that protects us if the company violates our contract, allowing us to hold our employer accountable.

This means that management cannot decide on its own to cut wages and benefits, fire workers, play favorites, change schedules and holidays, or make other changes that can harm us. It also provides us with an effective way to challenge actions the employer takes.

When do our contracts expire?

The contracts that cover the hot end (automatic machine department) and the cold end (production and maintenance department) expire on March 31, 2023.

The contract that covers the mold makers expires on August 31, 2023.

Which Local Unions and worksites are covered by these negotiations?

Negotiations with Anchor Glass cover approximately 1,500 members at six locations across the country.

How do we win a good contract with Anchor?

The company is not going to “give” us anything. It never has and it never will.

Like most employers, Anchor improves wages, benefits or working conditions only when it is forced to do so. We will need to show management our solidarity and determination in order to resist the company’s attempts for unnecessary concessions and achieve our goals during bargaining.

What kind of proposals are discussed in negotiations?

The parties can discuss any issue affecting the workplace. Generally, contract proposals fall into one of two categories:

  1. Economic proposals, such as wages, paid time off, health insurance, pensions or sickness and accident benefits, and
  2. Non-economic items such as safety standards, seniority, and the grievance and arbitration procedure.

Local union representatives and their management counterparts who are familiar with the details will discuss and resolve issues specific to a plant. These are often referred to as “local agreements” and are put in writing and signed by the Local Union and the local plant management.

How do negotiations work?

Negotiations take place at the bargaining table where representatives from the employer and our union come together to discuss proposals that address our issues.

Both sides caucus (meet separately), make counter-proposals, test out ideas and look for ways to bridge differences.

Neither the company nor the union will get 100% of what it puts on the table, but if management knows that we are unified, we will be more likely to reach a fair contract.

Who negotiates our contracts?

In negotiations for the cold end and hot end master agreements, conferees from each Local Union, USW leadership and experienced staff will all play a role. Claude Beaudin will chair and oversee the bargaining of these agreements.

Negotiations for the mold makers master agreement are conducted by the Mold Making Negotiating Committee, whose members are elected both from within the company and across the trade. Rob Witherell from the USW Collective Bargaining department will lead these negotiations.

How can I find out what’s happening at the bargaining table?

You can receive text message updates on your cell phone if you want the latest news from bargaining. To sign up, text Anchor to the phone number 47486.