New contract at Clarios 


Workers at the Clarios auto battery plant in Canby, Oregon, ratified a new four-year agreement Feb. 20 that limits mandatory overtime. 

Clarios was formed in 2019 when Johnson Controls spun off its battery division as a separate company. The roughly 180 workers at the Canby plant are represented by Machinists Local Lodge 1432. Their previous five-year contract expired Feb. 16.

The new agreement provides raises of 2.5% a year for the first three years and 3% in the fourth year. It also provides a $1,000 ratification bonus, plus annual bonuses of $750. And it doubles the hourly premiums for working any time other than day shift on weekdays. 

Local Lodge 1432 President Andrew Davis said the incentive-based pay system starts with a base wage of about $15 an hour and adds piece rate pay based on production levels so that the average worker makes over $70,000 a year.

The agreement also limits mandatory overtime: Workers can’t be required to work more than three 12-hour shifts in a week unless they’re the only employee qualified and available. And the company won’t schedule any department shift to work for more than two consecutive weekends.

The union bargaining committee recommended passage, and members voted to ratify it by about two-thirds. Davis said it’s the best agreement the unit has had in many years. It helped that members were more engaged this time, voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike if needed, and wore union T-shirts every Friday.

However, workers were not able to get the company to roll back a 2013 concession: New hires since then get a 401(k) instead of the traditional defined benefit pension that more senior employees have. The company did agree to eliminate a two-tier cost of living pay structure in which new hires got smaller raises.

Davis told the Labor Press that Clarios also deserves credit for getting to a fair agreement: “This deal shows that the company respects the people that put in the hours here.”  


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