Local Salisbury union strikes a new deal for workers with Granges America – Salisbury Post

Salisbury’s local union is on a new strike for workers with Granges America

Published 12:02 am on Tuesday, December 6, 2022

SALISBURY — On November 27, United Steelworkers Local 8573 reached a new collective bargaining agreement with Granges America.

The union had signed a five-year contract in November 2018 which was due to expire next year, but Grange has been asked to revisit the agreement after workers’ wages have since declined.

The main union negotiators who helped with the agreement are Dock Corpening, Robert Harper, Demetris Royal, Jason Everhart, Brian Fox, Brendan Trivett and Chris McCullough.

“The biggest issue we had was that we had two pay scales. We had a pay scale that was brought in after our layoffs in 2009, we had a pay scale that we were operating, but everyone hired from 2009 to today was on a different pay scale,” said union President Chris McCullough .

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People hired since 2009 received an average wage increase of $4.53 an hour and those hired before that received an average wage increase of $2.50 an hour. Health benefits will also take effect immediately after employment instead of the previous 60-day waiting period. The new three-year deal will have no financial increases in health insurance benefits and will include an annual 3 percent increase in wages.

“We’ve had a five-year deal in the past, before that we had four-year deals, but a three-year deal if the wage landscape changes, we can come back and negotiate faster instead of bugging the company. ,” McCullough explained.

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With what was achieved in the current plan for workers, there had to be room to negotiate with certain things that American Grannies wanted.

“We had to give up some things called the line of progress. Which requires you to learn the job above you and when the opening comes you have to go up and take those jobs. It limited some guys who were changing departments, but in the overall scheme of things, with how high inflation is now and what other people are paying in wages, we went for money for the most part,” McCullough said. .

This means that more people will stay in their own section more often. If workers want to fill a position in another department, the existing people get a chance first at the opening, so seniority will matter more.

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“Ultimately when you’re negotiating you’re going to give up some things to get some things. We could limit some of those things, but the money wouldn’t be as good,” said McCullough.

McCullough emphasizes the positive applications the new agreement will have for future workers and their commitment to the Granges.

“So when we bring in new people we realize that we have stability. They are able to fill orders for years to come because we will be here.”

What was important was to get the best deal for workers by seeing the Granges not as an enemy, but as an ally.

“We work with the company not in spite of the company,” McCullough said.

Chris McCullough has been president of the union for 2.5 years.

Newspaper clippings on some of the work the union has done over the years.



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