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Formtek Workers in Clinton Win 15 percent Wage Increases In New Union Contract

Andy O’Brien
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Forty-five workers at the Clinton-based manufacturer Formtek have ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with the company that includes 15 percent wage increases over the course of the three-year contract. The members of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers Local 2336 also successfully bargained for improvements to their vacation time and protections from subcontracting out work at the company, which manufactures high performance coil handling and processing equipment and systems.

“This is probably the best contract we’ve gotten in the past 20 years. It has come a long way,” said Dan Murgo, President of IAMAW Local 2336. “This shows that when we band together and use our collective voice, we can improve our wages and vacation time and bargain for better a quality of life.”

The three-year contract includes:

  • 15 percent wage increases over the course of the contract — 7 percent the first year, 4.5 in year two and 3.5 in year three.
  • A 5 percent bonus for all overtime hours worked —This roughly works out to another 1 percent a year wage increase for workers.
  • Protections from subcontracting – Limiting the conditions that allow the company to subcontract.
  • The option of taking six-hour shifts on Fridays
  • Improvements to vacation time — Moved the anniversary date for vacation eligibility from June 1 to the calendar year. For instance, under the previous contract, if a worker had 20 years of employment at the company and started before June 1 they would be eligible for their 20 year vacation time that year, but workers with the same amount of years who started after June 1 had to wait another year for their 20-year vacation rate. Now all workers who reach their anniversary in that calendar year will be eligible for their vacation.

“We’ve been fighting for years to get them a six hour shift on Fridays,” Murgo added. “A lot of guys like myself have things to do in the summer time, so now you can work the six hour shift and do that. You don’t have to live at the company to make a decent wage and you shouldn’t have to. You should be able to go home and enjoy your time with your family, go camping or whatever. In so many other places they’re working twelve-hour shifts, six days a week. That’s not a good life. You need a good home life too. I hope other workers learn about our contract so that they can see what they can accomplish if they get organized.”

“This is the kind of power we have when we stand together. This 15 percent increase is the most this union has ever won in a contract,”said Chris Butler, Chief Steward and Executive Board member of IAM 2336. There’s no way you’re going to get a 15 percent wage increase on your own.”