On Saturday, September 19th a contract explanation meeting and vote was held for members at Android Industries in Bowling Green, Kentucky. At the conclusion of the explanation, members voted unanimously to ratify the strongest agreement in their shop’s history.
One of the most significant achievements in the contract was a substantial set of wage increases designed in part to “close the gap” on an unfair 2nd tier wage scale. As a result, some 2nd tier members will get a wage increase of nearly 37% over the life of the four-year agreement, while members in the first tier will also receive $2.50 cents during the contract.
“Early on, our goal was to not only win a substantial raise and better working conditions; it was to dramatically enhance the livelihoods of our Sisters and Brothers who had been held down by a 2nd tier in which wages were unacceptably low,” said Business Agent and Chair of the union negotiating committee, Jay Dennis. “Both 1st and 2nd tier members demanded that everyone receive a wage that rewards their tremendous contribution to Android and the GM Bowling Green Assembly Plant’s success. This represents an enormous step forward for all our hardworking Teamsters at Android.”
Other wage improvements in the ratified agreement include an additional .50 cent increase for forklift drivers, a $1.00 increase for Reach Trucks, and a .50 cent second shift differential. Members can now break up all of their vacation time into individual days, and the length of time to receive a third week of vacation has been reduced by two years.
In addition, there were numerous language tweaks that offer substantial gains to the contract. They include enhancements to the anti-discrimination clause, the probationary period for new hires being reduced from 90 days to 60, disciplinary letters being reduced from nine months to six and the removal of random drug testing, among many others.
Two other important additions were the creation of a “co-chaired” safety committee and new hire orientation language. For the safety committee, the union will have sole control over the committee members, with language that clearly defines the committee cannot in any way be used to recommend or bring discipline on employees. The new hire orientation language provides thirty minutes for a union representative to educate new workers about the Teamsters, and also includes language that the Company cannot interfere with or discourage union membership.
“I do have to give credit where credit is due,” continued Dennis. “The Company certainly did see the value in providing better wages and working conditions for their employees in the agreement. It still took quite a bit of time for us to get to get there, though.”
President Zuckerman, Secretary-Treasurer Thompson, the Officers, Agents, and Staff of Teamsters Local 89 wish to express our thanks and congratulations to the union negotiating committee comprised of Anthony McGrew, Noel Meredith, Bobby Spencer, Kenny Teed, and Alicia Williams, and the all members at Android on this remarkable achievement.
“The Committee did a tremendous job in negotiations, and we couldn’t be prouder of them,” concluded Dennis. “They stood firm on the issues of importance and didn’t back down despite long and taxing negotiating sessions that lasted into the early AM. They are fine examples of Teamster leaders. With their leadership, and our members solidarity and commitment to each other, they were able to win the best contract in Android history.”