For the first time in over 30 years the bargaining committees of the UMCA & UA Local 140 negotiated a contract settlement without the use of the Industrial Relations Council. Prior to the contract settlement, the bargaining committees met on several occasions and both committees attribute the successful settlement to the drastically improved relationship between labor & management.
While there were plenty of difficult issues addressed and tense moments that threatened the success of the now settled contract, both parties remained optimistic throughout the process. In an unprecedented move, Labor representatives from the bargaining committee invited three contractor members of the bargaining committee to attend Local 140’s special call-to-business meeting. Jason Bleak of Industrial Piping & Welding, Patrick Lynch of CCI Mechanical and Brett Christiansen of Palmer-Christiansen Company addressed the membership to explain the importance of the new “pipe tradesman” classification. The display of trust from Labor in inviting the contractors highlights the strides that have been made in repairing and strengthening relations between Management and Labor.
Additionally, leaders of both organizations continue to make a significant investment in leadership training that began almost a year ago to help improve the relationships between labor and management. The dedication and trust built between the leadership of both parties was a catalyst in this contract settlement. Management and labor are optimistic that the communication and trust is at an all time high. Both groups have demonstrated their commitment to the partnership over the past year and the trust between labor and management will only continue to grow. Both groups plan to continue the momentum and are laying the foundation to develop strategic business plans to recover struggling markets.