FAIRLAWN, Ohio (Aug. 15, 2012)—The United Steelworkers have ratified a four-year contract with Veyance Technologies Inc. that includes annual wage and pension benefit increases while improving job security.
The contract, ratified by the union Aug. 12, is backdated to Aug. 1 when it went into effect, according to Bruce Kendrick, Veyance vice president for global human resources.
The pact covers 1,000 employees at four plants in the U.S.: Lincoln, Neb.; Marysville and St. Mary's, Ohio; and Sun Prairie, Wis.
A spokesman for the union said the USW members approved the contract, which runs through July 2016, by more than a three-to-one margin. The agreement includes annual cost-of-living adjustment wage increases, which over the last 12 months would have amounted to about 58 cents per hour, he said.
“There will be an increase in pension benefits, and health care benefits are maintained mostly as is, with a slightly higher share, percentage wise, of the premiums shouldered by the workers,” the USW spokesman said.
He said the union “is pleased with the outcome. We didn't get everything we were looking for, but you rarely do in bargaining. Overall, it's a fair agreement.”
While Kendrick didn't provide contract content details, he issued a prepared statement that said the new agreement provides significant improvements in operational flexibility for the four plants “to better respond to a very dynamic, global market place.”
He said both sides were satisfied with the results of the bargaining sessions, which according to the USW spokesman lasted three months.
The settlement came a few days after USW members voted to authorize a strike against the Fairlawn-headquartered manufacturer of Goodyear-brand engineered products, including heavy duty and lightweight conveyor belts, hydraulics and rubber track along with automotive and heavy duty truck belts, hose, tensioners and air springs.
Veyance's four factories covered by the pact will continue to operate in a normal pattern, Kendrick said. He said given the industry's competitive landscape, a normal pattern “is to be able to react quickly to market fluctuations and demand to ensure that we continue to exceed customer expectations on all fronts. We believe this new agreement will enable these plants to continue to do just that.”