Doppelmayr OAC employees secure first contract

They now have a voice and are a part of an organization that will support them and address all their issues and concerns head on.

Local 549 Business Agent Osvaldo Troche Jr.

Doppelmayr OAC employees negotiate their first contract.

Doppelmayr OAC workers negotiated their first contract, achieving numerous improvements the employees sought. Negotiations began in November, three months after employees voted to unionize.

“They now have a voice and are a part of an organization that will support them and address all their issues and concerns head on,” said Local 549 Business Agent Osvaldo Troche Jr., who headed up negotiations for the new L-549 (Pittsburg, California) members.

Others on the bargaining committee included: day shift shop steward Shannon Jowers, swing shift shop steward Lina Lewis, graveyard shift shop steward Lekendrick Whittaker and IR Gary Powers. 

Members gained language in the contract that gives time restraints on reprimands. “One of their concerns was getting written up two months after an incident occurred,” said Troche. 

Also included were yearly pay increases. Previously, the company gave yearly bonuses based on attendance, productivity and longevity. They weren’t significant bonuses once divided by the 2,080 hours they worked through the year. 

Additionally, the employer will now pay 90% of medical premiums for employees and 75% for workers with dependents, also including vision and dental. The negotiating committee also secured swing shift and graveyard shift differentials.

The union negotiated to have the employer pay 5% per hour into the Boilermakers National Annuity Trust for all employees covered under the agreement. This equates to between a 2% and 5% increase, depending on whether an employee has taken advantage of the employer 401(k) match. Employees also negotiated a footwear reimbursement and a pay increase for working double-time and time-and-a-half. 

Troche acknowledged the three members who stood up and decided to be a part of the negotiating committee, which some members were hesitant to do for fear it would put a target on their back. 

“The three committee members brought a lot of inside information on how the company was operating and changes that they would like to see,” he said. “I have visited the facility several times from when the contract was ratified, and the members mention that the relationship between them and company has improved.”