September 15, 2006 Volume 107 Number 18

Machinists, Teamsters end ULP strike at Cummins NW

Machinists and Teamsters at Cummins NW plants in Portland, Pendleton, Renton, Wash., and Spokane, Wash., ended an unfair labor practice strike Aug. 28.

Cummins NW employs 23 Machinists, members of Lodge 1005, at the Portland facility on Swan Island.

Workers at all the unionized plants walked out July 7 after the new owner voided all contracts with the Machinists and Teamsters unions. Before negotiations even began on a successor contract, the new owner quit paying into the workers’ union pension fund.

Unfair labor practice charges were filed and workers from both unions struck a short time later.

At the bargaining table, the new owner has not moved off demands for open-shop language and implementation of a 401(k) pension plan to replace the union plan.

The company had asked the unions to sign a strike settlement proposal that would have voided the charges at their last bargaining session Aug. 28.

“We would not do that as a condition of the contract,” said Scott Lucy, a business representative of Portland Machinists District Lodge 24.

“The ULP charges are still being investigated. We’re going to see that through the process,” he said.

If the ULP charges are upheld by the National Labor Relations Board, striking union members could receive back pay for the time they were out on strike.

No future bargaining has been scheduled, but Lucy said his union is ready to talk at any time.

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