Members of the IAM Local 387 Negotiating Committee, joined by IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Philip J. Gruber, opened negotiations December 9, 2015 with GKN Aerospace in St. Louis.
The contract – which covers nearly 600 bonding mechanics, machinists, metal fabricators, machine repairers, process operators, spray painters, pipefitters, parts finishers and material handlers – is due to expire January 24, 2016.
“Members of the GKN delegation: we share the charge and the responsibility of negotiating an overall package that is both fair and equitable,” said Gruber in his opening statement. “I expect that the next several weeks will be challenging. Like contracts in the past, the topics will be similar. We will certainly be discussing health care, pensions, wages, job and income security. Why? Because that is what is important to our members. YOUR employees. The lack of family-sustaining wages and job security is not a real investment in GKN workers. It is a devaluing of American industrial jobs.
“I look forward to listening to your ideas and proposals, I look forward to a spirited debate. But most of all, I look forward to shaking hands on January 24 with a deal of which we can all be proud.”
Members of the bargaining committee include IAM District 837 President/Directing Business Representative and lead negotiator Steve McDerman, Assistant Directing Business Representative Earl Schuessler, Business Representative Roger Smith, Plant Chairmen Chris Albin and Brian Adams, Local 387 President Joe Blanke, Trustee Michael Lindsey, Grand Lodge Representative Steve Galloway, IAM Aerospace Coordinator Terry Smith and Strategic Resources Assistant Director David White.
“Today’s opening session was productive,” said McDerman. “We managed to cover a significant portion of the language on non-economic issues, and look forward to continuing these talks over the upcoming weeks.”
“I want to thank the members of the negotiating team for their commitment, hard work and dedication in preparing for these negotiations,” continued McDerman, “and most importantly, the membership. Our members are the strength behind this committee. Their support and solidarity are vital as we embark on the negotiations of this contract over the next few weeks.”
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