New pact a Kelly-Springfield – Industrial Relations
Michael H. Cimini
Some 1,400 production and maintenance workers at Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. in Freeport, IL, will be working under a new 3-year labor contract negotiated by Local 745 of the United Rubber Workers. Terms of the pact deviate somewhat from those agreed to last year by the Rubber Workers and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., Kelly-Springfield’s parent company. (See Monthly Labor Review, September 1994, pp. 60-61.) Unlike its Goodyear counterpart, Local 745 agreed to language allowing management to add continuous operations on the weekends (two 12-hour shifts a day) and to start new hires at rates that are below normal base rates but that reach normal base rates over a specified period. In the first year of the contract, work on weekends will be on a voluntary basis; thereafter, the company will have the right to assign workers to weekend shifts.
The Kelly pact calls for a wage freeze during the term of the contract, moderated by quarterly cost-of-living adjustments equal to 1 cent an hour for each 0.26-point change in the Consumer Price Index for Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, with 18 cents per worker being diverted each year to help fund the company’s performance recognition plan. That plan establishes a target bonus of $1,000 per year for each employee, with half coming from the company and half from the COLA diversion. Each employee will receive a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $1,500, with the actual amount based in equal proportions on the financial performance of Goodyear and Kelly-Springfield. Last year, the plan payout averaged $1,375 per employee.
Other terms guarantee that the company will make a capital investment of about $17 million for radial light truck tire production; and continue the company-provided medical plan, pension benefits, accident and sickness coverage, supplemental workers’ compensation benefits, and the vision and dental care plans at current levels.
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