June 26, 2008

Workers Approve Offer From Global Brass

By Cynthia M. Ellis, The Telegraph, Alton, Ill.

Jun. 26--EAST ALTON -- Union workers have approved a five-year contract with the former Olin Brass by an overwhelming majority.

The pact calls for 3.5 percent increases in the first and last year of the agreement, 3.0 percent in the second, third and fourth year and a $1,000 signing bonus. Health insurance benefits remain the same.

Members of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District voted early Thursday morning at Lewis and Clark Community College on an agreement that was offered by Global Brass and Copper Inc.

Olin Corp. sold off its Metals Division to the New York-based private equity firm KPS Capital Partners LP in October. The sale was cause for concern for many employees, because KPS has a history of buying under-performing companies, restructuring them and selling them off.

The sale affected 1,800 workers at the company; IAMAW, which is based in East Alton, represents the majority of them -- between 900 and 1,000. Workers were concerned that they would lose their jobs after the current contract expired on Dec. 7.

The remaining workers, whose contracts also expire this year, are represented by the Pipefitters Local 553, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 649, the International Chemical Workers Local 6 and the Western Employees Trades Council, which represents six smaller unions.

GBC offered its salaried employees "voluntary termination" packages early this year. Employees who took the plan left at the end of March.


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