Inmetco Workers Win First Contract

Inmetco workers ratify union contract

Calkins Media

Thursday November 4, 2010 10:00 AM

ELLWOOD CITY, PA — After five months of negotiations, workers at Inmetco ratified their first union contract Monday.

Dave Alters, a member of the union negotiation team, said the three-year contract was ratified in a 42-22 vote, and that it calls for a 10 percent pay increase over the contract term and a signing bonus. The company’s employees voted last April in favor of representation under Teamsters Local 261, based in New Castle.

One reason the negotiations took an extended time was that this was the initial collective bargaining agreement, which forced both sides to start more or less from scratch in creating a new contract. Alters said there were few difficulties in negotiations.

One focus of intense discussions was the employees’ health-care plan, Alters said. Ultimately, he said the new plan is an improved deal for workers, with insurance premiums locked in for the life of the contract.

A change to the employees’ health-care insurance after Horsehead, based in Potter Township, Beaver County, took over Inmetco on Jan. 1 was cited earlier this year as a key reason Inmetco’s employees decided to seek union representation. Previously, Inmetco had been a subsidiary of Canadian corporation Inco.

Representatives of Horsehead did not comment on the labor pact. Alters said the new contract was satisfactory.

“It’s a fair contract for everybody who is here, and we’ll be able to work with the company,” he said.

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