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UE LOCAL 1166 GAINS FIRST CONTRACT WITH GATX-CHICAGO

After two union elections, extended legal delays by the company and nine months of negotiations, members of UE Local 1166 at the GATX warehouse in Hodgkins, Il. ratified their first ever UE contract on April 25.
The contract includes wage increases of one dollar in the first year, 40 cents in the second year and a seniority multiplier in the third year equal to about 40 cents. The wage settlement also includes 50-cents back pay for
every hour worked since April 1, 2000 -- meaning over $1,000 for all employees employed throughout the last year.

Furthermore, the new contract includes seniority in job vacancies, decreases the number of temporary employees, improves the shift differential, provides two additional vacation days after five years, includes the union shop, an end to random drug testing with the next clean monthly test and an end to mandatory overtime except in emergency situations.

Importantly, the negotiating committee negotiated a new attendance policy which allows for late arrivals in the cases of train delays and inclement weather, increases the points system from 7 to 12, makes it easier to remove points, provides for an attendance bonus and cleans the slate to zero points for all employees at the beginning of the contract.

These impressive gains were made through the unity of the workforce in dealing with the company and the support the negotiating committee received during the contract negotiations. Negotiating Committee member Damaris Santana explained: "I have to admit it, that I was surprised. When the time came, people really stayed together."

ONE-DAY STRIKE

In January, GATX unilaterally imposed mandatory overtime and refused to post or distribute the overtime fairly. Failure to resolve this unfair labor practice at the bargaining table resulted in a one day strike on Feb. 9. UE Local 1166 demonstrated such strong unity on the picket line that day that the company sat up and took notice. The overtime distribution was re-arranged and within two weeks the plant manager was replaced.

GATX realized that they could no longer take UE members for granted. During the campaign, UE Local 1166 received support from many allies in the labor movement and public officials, including U.S. Representatives Luis Gutierrez and Danny Davis, State Sen. Miguel Del Valle, Chicago City Aldermen Rick Munoz and Ted Thomas, and Gerry Zero, president of Teamsters Local 705.

UE Local 1166 represents GATX workers who warehouse and ship parts for the Electro Motive Division, the locomotive division of General Motors. During negotiations GATX was bought by APL Logistics.

The UE Local 1166 negotiating committee consisted of Larry Palmer, Manny Arreola, Damaris Santana, Patrick Grant, Jose Santiago and Bernice Anderson. They were assisted by UE Intl. Rep. Tim Curtin, Field Org. Sam Smucker and District 11 Pres. Carl Rosen.
 
 

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