Iron Workers Local 516 strike at Hanna-Sherman ends after four days

MILWAUKIE, OR -- Members of Portland-based Iron Workers Shopmen's Local 516 ratified a new contract at Hanna-Sherman International Inc. after striking for four days starting Jan. 27.

The company manufactures automatic car washes that are sold worldwide.

Thirty-five employees at the fabrication plant, 2000 SE Hanna, Milwaukie, have operated under a union contract for approximately 28 years while the assembly side across the street voted to join Local 516 in May 1996.

Tony Butkovich (left), business manager of Iron Workers Shopmen's Local 516, walks picket line with members at Hanna-Sherman in Milwaukie. The strike lasted four days, but negotiations will begin again in less than six months.

The 25 new union members were striking for a first contract. The unionized fabrication side was 10 months into negotiations on a wage reopener. Their old contract expires March 1.

Key issues in the dispute were the use of temporary workers and placing new bargaining unit members into the union's pension fund.

On Jan. 31, the new bargaining unit ratified a six-month contract that restricts temp workers and includes them in the National Shopmen's Pension Fund.

The unionized fabrication side, which was striking primarily in support of the new union members, voted to return to work with their co-workers.

The average wage at the plant is $14-$15 an hour.

Hanna employees took a $2 an hour wage cut in the early 1980s followed by an eight-year wage freeze when the company -- then Hanna International Inc. -- was experiencing financial difficulties. The company eventually filed for bankruptcy and was placed in receivership. In 1992 it was purchased by Texas-based Sherman International Inc.

On the first day of the strike pickets were met by nearly a dozen video-taping security guards. A chain-link fence also was erected around the parking lot. The last time a Local 516 bargaining unit struck was in 1989 against Fought Co.


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