Five Years After Voting UE, Hishi Workers Win First Contract

March 21, 2008

Workers at Hishi Plastics have won their long fight for a first UE contract. Their UE bargaining committee reached a tentative agreement with the company on Wednesday, March 19, and today the members voted 20 to 7 to ratify it.

The contract is a two-year agreement that gives workers raises that will range from 55 cents to $1.65; establishes a UE grievance procedure with binding arbitration; and solidifies the union with a union shop clause. Workers won improvement in bereavement leave and in their eligibility for overtime premium pay. The contract maintains current benefits in such areas as paid time off, holidays, and company contributions to the 401(k) plan.

The agreement comes a year after their union was certified by the National Labor Relations Board and bargaining began, and five years after Hishi workers voted overwhelmingly for UE, only to have the NLRB lock up the ballots and refuse to count them through four years of legal wrangling.

Eastern Region President Andrew Dinkelaker, who attended the final bargaining session on March 19 and helped achieve the final settlement, thanked UE locals and members around the country whose support for the Hishi workers' struggle was key to the union's success. "This is how we do it in UE," said Dinkelaker,"we come together to help our brothers and sisters, wherever they are, when they're in a tough situation."

The Local 404 Hishi bargaining committee consisted of Paul Bloomfield, Nick Nichols and Mahbubur Rahman. They were assisted by International Rep Connie Spinozzi, Field Orgainzer Jim Ermi, Regional President Andrew Dinkelaker and retired local President Joe Miglino. Watch for more details on the Hishi settlement in the next issue of the UE NEWS.

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