II. Negotiating Philosophy
The union is looking to maintain all gains made in the last bargaining session. All areas identified as primary objectives will be improved upon. In addition, we are also seeking to improve our condition on many secondary issues.
A timely settlement is our optimal goal and we are confident that one can be reached while achieving gains for our union members. However, the union will not sacrifice its goals just to reach a timely settlement. If a lockout occurs, we shall accept it and continue negotiating towards improved conditions for the union. If a strike is deemed absolutely necessary because management will not move on any of its prerogatives, then one shall be engaged.
We will give due consideration to the objectives of our international union, but our primary goals are those of our local union brothers and sisters.
The union enters this negotiation remembering the weak contract it settled at the last negotiation. It was the first time we bargained with someone other than Stanley Steamer paint and varnish. We must be wary of the threat of GCC to move more of its paint production to its plant in Thomas City, West Carolina. GCC is believed to be at a crossroads. They seem to be seeking an expansion of their share in the OEM paint market. If this does not work, they could move to abandon the business altogether.
The union is seeking to make gains in wages, bringing it up to par with other plants in its industry and locale. The union wants to work with management to help GCC become a leader in this field. However, we want to be compensated and treated fairly in return.
These negotiations are not applicable to these negotiations. GCC acquired their OEM from Stanley Steamer Paint and Varnish in 1995.
When GCC took over in 1995, before the election of Vikki Chen-Rivera and the appointment of Ken Littlefeather, they basically wanted to negotiate a whole new contract. And they did. Only a few articles were carried over and much of the contract is entirely new. The wage settlement was 1.5% in the first year; 1.0% (non-compound) sixteen months in; and, 1.25% (non-compound) thirty-two months in. The old classification structure was abolished and replaced with a new one. The union felt compelled to sign the contract out of fear that the plant could not long survive otherwise and a desire to keep union jobs. Since the 1995 negotiations, the unit has dropped from 300 members to 250, mostly through retirement and attrition. GCC has not given one inch during contract administration. They show little flexibility while remaining courteous.
VI Local and National Economic Climate
been low at around 4.2%.
Dupaint has a plant in Ives that is organized by the CEU. The wages we receive are comparable, but employees at their plant earn more than us. Big3Auto and PittsGlass maintain plants in California and Missouri respectively. Their wages are significantly higher. We believe these conditions will be favorable to wage gains. See the wage rate rankings below for more info.