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Honeywell lockout in the US ends with new agreement

13 April, 2015Members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 7-669 voted to ratify a new three-year collective agreement at the Honeywell nuclear power plant in Metropolis, Illinois. The agreement ends a seven-month lockout covering 150 union members.

The new contract brings a salary increase of two per cent each of the three years; continued participation in the company’s consumer-driven healthcare plan for union employees; increased flexibility for the company to use qualified contractors for maintenance work at the plant.

The USW and Honeywell agreed on a plan to return the workers to their jobs in line with recertification requirements of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. All members should be back on the job by next month.

Honeywell also locked out the USW Metropolis plant workers from June 2010 for 14 months.

Federal mediators assisted the negotiations, and a tentative agreement was voted into force by Local 7-669 members on 30 March.

The plant produces nuclear fuel and reprocesses uranium.

IndustriALL reported on the start of the lockout in August 2014, and on the risks of running the factory with inexperienced replacement workers during the lockout in November 2014.

“Once again, our brothers and sisters in Metropolis have proven that we are all stronger when we stand together,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard.

“We are pleased that the membership ratified another three year agreement. I know that, just like Honeywell, our members are eager to return to work and help make this facility successful. The facility hasn’t produced any product since mid-December, and I’m sure our customers are also eager to see production resume,” said Stephen Lech, local USW 7-669 union president.

IndustriALL Global Union assistant general secretary Kemal Özkan welcomed the end to the lockout:

USW members going back to work at Honeywell means production can restart and be carried out by trained and experienced workers. USW Local 7-669 stood strong against an employer attempt to bust their union, and they deserve the fair contract they achieved.