News briefs

Bakers 114 okays contracts with Franz, Williams

Members of Bakers Local 114 ratified new three-year contracts at Williams Bakery in Eugene and Franz Bakery in Portland.

The new contracts are patterned after West Coast bakery agreements negotiated last year, said Laurel Koch, financial secretary of Local 114, which represents 187 workers at Franz and 122 employees at Williams. The contracts provide for full maintenance of benefits - meaning the company will continue paying health insurance premiums for workers and their families.

Employees will receive hourly wage increases of $1.70 over the life of the contract and will see a $150 increase in their pension contribution to a defined benefit plan under the national B&C Pension Fund.

Koch said the union secured an extra paid holiday on Martin Luther King Day, for a total of seven paid holidays. The union also got contract language that prohibits the employers from forcing employees to work more than four hours of overtime a week without their consent, and allows workers up to 90 days leave for union business. Prior to the contract some employees were regularly working 16 to 18-hour shifts, Koch said.

With the initial pay raise, bakery wages now start at $12 an hour and go to as much as $18 an hour for mixers. "This is the best contract we have seen in a long time," Koch said. "Our members are very happy with it."

Local 114's attention now turns to Orowheat, Safeway and Fred Meyer, where contracts are set to expire next month.

John Endicott elected business manager of #290

John Endicott has been elected business manager of Tualatin-based Plumbers and Fitters Local 290. He defeated Dave Quirk in a mail election 1,158 to 344. Ballots were counted June 7.

Endicott will serve the remaining portion of a three-year term previously held by Matt Walters. Walters died of a heart attack March 19 while on union business in Arizona.

His three-year term expires in December.

Endicott was assistant to the business manager and, under Local 290's bylaws, the assistant becomes the interim business manager in the event of death or some other mishap to the business manager. The bylaws also call for an election within 90 days.

That election is now complete, but Endicott will have to run for re-election in December, along with all of Local 290's officers and Executive Board members.

Nominations will be held in November.

Endicott has been a steamfitter for 28 years and has worked for the union for 10 years, starting as an organizer.

Protesters rap Exxon's energy policy at ANWR

About 50 people circled the sidewalk in front of an Exxon station at 9808 SE Division, Portland, June 6, to protest the company's support for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and opposition to an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The protest was organized by OSPIRG (Oregon State Public Interest Research Group), and was joined by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), including Arthur Towers, executive director of the of the SEIU State Council. Towers said SEIU wants to see "a national energy policy that increases the affordability and stability of our energy supply while also reducing air pollution: We need an energy policy that does more than simply providing benefits for big oil companies."

Citing a new report by Greenpeace, OSPIRG campaign coordinator Jenelle Woodlief denounced Exxon's funding of research and think tanks in an effort to create the impression of scientific uncertainty about global warming. Entitled Denial and Deception: A Chronicle of Exxon/Mobil's Corruption of the Debate on Global Warming, the report also details the company's use of front groups and large political contributions; it is available at

ANWR exploration is supported by the AFL-CIO's Building Trades Department, Metal Trades Department, and Teamsters. Those organizations maintain responsible energy exploration will create thousands of union jobs.

ATU 757 reaches pacts with Laidlaw at Tri-Met and PPS

Bus operators at Laidlaw Inc., under contract with Tri-Met in Washington County, Oregon, to operate lift buses, have ratified a new three-year contract that is retroactive to Dec. 1, 2001.

A new two-year contract covering maintenance employees of Laidlaw Education Services working under contract with Portland Public Schools also has been approved.

Ron Heintzman, president and business representative of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 and the representative of employees at both locations, said employees were about to strike in Washington County before a mediated deal was reached.

The new contract provides for a $3 an hour wage increase over the next three years with a few exceptions. Laidlaw also agreed to put in place a dental plan with "employee only" coverage starting Dec. 1, 2003.

At Portland Public Schools, maintenance mechanics ratified a two-year deal retroactive to April 15, 2002. The contract calls for a 4 percent wage hike, which will take top hourly wages from $14.71 to $15.92 by next April 15.

June 21, 2002 issue

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