Communicating during labor activity

  • August 24, 2018

Communicating during labor activity

Communications with employees during any kind of labor conflict is complicated and comes with an inherent amount of risk, but it must be done.  From time to time, we receive requests from members about examples of communications used by companies during a strike or lockout.  Here is a good example of a press release from Bull Moose Tube located in Trenton, Georgia explaining their reasons for negotiating to an impasse in the collective bargaining process and a resulting lockout.   Bull Moose Tube has no affiliation with CUE. This document came from an internet search, and I thought it was worth sharing. 

Bull Moose Negotiations with USW Union Reach Impasse Resulting in Lockout

TRENTON, Ga.Aug. 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — For decades, Bull Moose Tube has provided gainful employment at our Trenton, Georgia, mill for many people in the surrounding community. We have a strong track record of offering our employees good wages and benefits which, as of the most recently expired contract included:

  • Hourly-plus incentive wage rate from $20$24 per hour; and
  • Despite the spiraling costs for healthcare coverage nationwide, employee contributions for healthcare coverage of:
    • $21 per week for single healthcare coverage;
    • $38 per week for family healthcare coverage;
    • $600 per year annual deductible for single coverage; and
    • $1,800 per year annual deductible for family coverage.

Since the expiration earlier this year of the previous labor contract between Bull Moose Tube and the United Steel Workers, we have met extensively with union representatives in an effort to negotiate a new contract. While we achieved agreement on many elements of a new contract, the parties have reached an impasse on two significant issues: wages and benefits.

During the negotiations, Bull Moose Tube proposed many good-faith and significant enhancements to the previous agreement. In our final proposal to the Union, Bull Moose Tube proposed the following enhancements:

  • An hourly-plus incentive rate range from $22$26 per hour;
  • $3,000 wage increase for most workers by the end of the three-year contract (based on 2017 results);
  • Employee contribution level for single coverage of $24 per week starting January 2019 (locked in for three years);
  • Employee contribution level for family coverage of $41 per week starting January 2019 (locked in for three years).
  • Annual deductibles for single coverage will be as follows:
    • The current annual deductible for single coverage would remain at $600 through 2019
    • Starting in January 2020, the deductible for single coverage would go to $800
    • Starting in January 2021, the deductible for single coverage would go to $900
  • Annual deductibles for family coverage will be as follows:
    • The current annual deductible for family coverage would remain at $1,800 through 2019
    • Starting in January 2020, the deductible for family coverage would go to $2,400
    • Starting in January 2021, the deductible for family coverage would go to $2,700
  • Increased insurance-benefits options, including:
    • Virtual care (online doctor program)
    • Enhanced minute-clinic coverage

We believe our final proposal would secure current jobs and put the Company in the best position to add additional jobs in the future while at the same time providing our employees a generous compensation package. Despite offering these significant increases, the United Steel Workers rejected our last proposal. Nevertheless, we remain hopeful the Union will accept our last offer and we can finalize a new contract with union leadership in the very near future.

While it is not our preference, we are prepared to enact contingency plans, which we have put in place to ensure all Bull Moose Tube customers will continue to receive the same level of service – without interruption – they have come to expect from us.