The UE Local 1421 members at Graham Packaging take satisfaction from knowing that under the terms of their new agreement health insurance will continue to be a company-paid benefit – without a cent coming out of their pockets towards the cost of the premium.
Also, the contract sets doctor-visit co-payments at $5, so that the cost to Graham workers can’t be raised by health care providers.
Negotiations took five days, concluding March 1. UE members ratified the contract on March 6.
Wages are advanced by 2.5 percent the first year, 3.8 percent the second and 3.7 percent the third. Training a co-worker now nets lead pay, an extra 50 cents an hour.
The pension multiplier is improved by $2 in each year. Life insurance and Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance are bumped up by $1,000 in each year.
The "perfect attendance day" program provides a paid day off after every three months of perfect attendance; the requirement had been six months. The perfect attendance days may now be cashed out.
Under the contract the company will contribute $5 more towards the cost of safety shoes each year, with the contribution reaching $135 in the third year.
The previous agreement restricted the number of workers taking vacation at any given time to four; the new contract increases that number to five. Graham workers will now be able to take two of their vacation days on a Friday or a Monday.
The UE negotiating committee consisted of District 10 Pres. Marianne Hart (who works at Graham), Brian Barrington, Wanda Brown and Vivian Collins. They were assisted by UE Field Org. Manae Ross and Intl. Rep. Leanna Noble.