May 6, 2011 Volume 112 Number 9
Plumbers and Fitters Local 290 ratifies new three-year contract
Members of United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 290 ratified a new three-year contract with the Oregon chapter of the Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors Association.
The deal provides for increases of $1.75 the first year, $2 the second year, and $2.25 the third year. As is typical in construction bargaining, a certain amount of money is agreed upon and workers decide how to divvy it up — whether it be in wages, pension contributions, or for health insurance.
At the ratification vote April 23, members decided to put 69 cents toward health and welfare, 6 cents to the pension, and $1 on the check.
This was the third contract vote since the previous two-year agreement expired March 31. The first offer rejected contained hourly increases of 75 cents the first year, $1 the second year, and $1.25 the third year. Employers came back with a quarter more the first year only. Members rejected that as well — but this time with strike authorization and refusing to work overtime.
Then, starting April 7, the union deployed roving pickets, hitting shops in McMinnville, Eugene, and Portland for two and three days at a time.
"That really got their attention," said Local 290 Business Manager John Endicott.
Before the month was over the sides were back at the table and a contract was ratified.
"With work finally starting to pick up, we're glad to have it settled," Endicott said. "We look forward to a productive next three years."
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