20 October, 2014Members of IndustriALL Global Union’s U.S. affiliate, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), have voted to accept an improved offer from Schneider Electric, ending a two-week strike.
More than 300 IAM members of Local 2069 took part in the industrial action at Schneider’s Square D facility in Peru, Indiana, which finished on 19 October.
“Our members stood strong and won improvements that they can be proud of,” said IAM Director of Collective Bargaining Tom O’Heron. “Schneider Electric is an extremely profitable company and our members, who make those profits possible, fought for their rightful share of the company’s success.”
Local 2069 members won improvements in key areas of the new three-year contract. In addition to a signing bonus of $1,600, there are general wage increases of 3 percent in year one, 2 percent in year two and 2 percent in year three. IAM negotiators also addressed members’ concerns that the gap between lower and higher-paid workers was growing too wide.
Although the new pact freezes the traditional Defined Benefit Pension as of December 31, 2015, IAM negotiators achieved company contributions in the transition to a Defined Contribution plan that are higher than the company originally proposed.
“Both local businesses and other local area unions gave our members tremendous support,” said O’Heron. “Local 2069’s Bargaining Committee also did a great job keeping our members and the community informed throughout the entire process. Together, it made a big difference and we are grateful that it helped lead to an agreement.”
European multinational, Schneider Electric, employs 130,000 people in over 100 countries.
IndustriALL Global Union’s general secretary, Jyrki Raina, said:
“This is a considerable victory for IAM after well-supported industrial action by union members. Schneider was ultimately forced to return to the bargaining table after significant pressure from IAM and the Local.”
The IAM is one of North America’s largest industrial trade unions representing nearly 600,000 active and retired members.