Westinghouse, Clerical Union Still Talking

August 27, 1991|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,Staff writer

Westinghouse Electric Corp. will continue negotiating today with a union representing 1,850 clerical and technical workers in Anne Arundel County whose labor contract expired late Sunday.

The company reached a tentative agreement yesterday with a national bargaining committee representing three other unions, two of which have members at Westinghouse Electronic Systems Group in Linthicum.

Contracts expired at midnight Sunday, but the unions agreed to continue talks beyond the deadline, company officials said.

Westinghouse, employer of 11,000 people near Baltimore-Washington International Airport, agreed to three-year contracts with the International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers(IUE) and with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

Those groups represent 2,100 manufacturing employees in Linthicum, said Jack Martin, company spokesman there. Fourteen hundred workers belong to IBEW Local 1805, while 700 belong to IUE Local 130, he said.

Those unions, plus a third with no local members, have bargained through the umbrella Coordinated Bargaining Committee in Pittsburgh since mid-July. They reached the accord with management at about 4 a.m. yesterday, wrapping up a 24-hour marathon session.

Unionmembers are expected to vote on the proposal within the next two weeks, company officials said.

The contract would give workers three pay increases and five cost of living raises, totaling about 13 percent over three years. It includes a more comprehensive medical plan than the previous one, with new wellness and preventive care plans.

The company also guaranteed employees new national health care networks that will offer high value prescription drug, dental and vision services.

Workers and management also agreed to a simplified pensionplan, with retirement benefits the company says exceed those of other corporations.

George Dorman, Westinghouse executive vice president of human resources, said he expects members to ratify the contract, which offers, "one of the best pay and benefit programs in industry."

"We've reached agreement on an excellent package of pay and benefits for our people, while also addressing the competitive realitiesof our diversified businesses," he said.

Richard O'Leary, IUE Local 130 president, and William Daugherty, vice president, were en route from Pittsburgh yesterday and unavailable for comment.

A taped message from the IBEW Local 1805 said only that the office would notify workers of an upcoming ratification meeting.

The company, which laid off about 700 county workers in late February, reached no agreement with the Federation of Westinghouse Independent Salaried Unions by midnight Sunday. Talks continued yesterday and were to resume this morning.

A taped message from Salaried Employees Association officials urged the Linthicum plant's 1,850 technical and clerical workersto report to work while the group negotiates "issues that have not been satisfactorily addressed by the company." Those include economics, pensions, health care and job security, the message said.

The three local unions last went on strike for six weeks in 1979, when company-wide negotiations broke down.

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