L-D6 reaches ‘exceptional’ agreement with Lafarge

L-D6 bargaining committee, l. to r., Charles “Chuck” Hopwood, president emeritus; Robert Lytle, secretary-treasurer; Steve “Bear” Remley, vice president; Doug Buchanan, president and Jason Sprague, recording secretary.

Lodge makes improvements despite economy

NEGOTIATING A CONTRACT during a weak economy can be especially tough for local lodges. When L-D6 (Buffalo, Iowa) faced off last year against Lafarge — one of the largest cement makers in the world — the bargaining committee knew it had better be well prepared.

To make matters even more challenging, the cement plant had recently installed new plant management, so labor-management relations were in some ways starting over.

Despite those challenges, L-D6 came away with a seven-year agreement that includes a wage increase averaging three percent annually, a one dollar annual increase each year in the defined benefit pension plan factor, health insurance improvements, and no take-aways. The agreement is effective Nov. 1, 2010 to Oct. 31, 2017.

“Under the circumstances, Local D6’s recently ratified contract is exceptional,” said Carey Allen, Director of the Cement, Lime, Gypsum, and Allied Workers Division.

Allen, who worked with the lodge’s bargaining committee throughout negotiations, praised the committee members for sticking together and standing their ground. He said former L-D6 Pres. Charles “Chuck” Hopwood, who led the local for over 25 years before retiring as president emeritus, participated as an advisor, providing valuable insights and knowledge about past contracts.

Joining Hopwood on the committee were Pres. Doug Buchanan, Vice Pres. Steve “Bear” Remley, Sec.-Treas. Robert Lytle, and Rec.-Sec. Jason Sprague.