We began bargaining by discussing the continuation of unofficial job mentorship opportunities for bargaining unit employees as part of maintaining the status quo, which is the company’s legal duty. We reminded the company that it can’t legally treat non-union employees differently than union employees, or discontinue existing benefits. Ultimately, the Company agreed to restore unofficial mentorship opportunities to bargaining unit employees immediately.
The Union has repeatedly reminded the Company that restoration of the status quo, as required by law, includes payment of the missed wage increase of $1.50 per hour for bargaining unit employees. The Company has not responded to or met this demand.
The Company further dug in with its own anti-discrimination policy, which would force the resolution of claims in arbitration rather than going through the court system for resolution.
The Company maintained its rejection of the “Responsible Union/Company Relationship” proposal, preferring instead a new, toothless counter proposal on Labor/Management Committees.
Currently the Union has 18 proposals pending across the table, all but three of which have been rejected or deferred by the Company, including remote work, job progressions, restoration of wage increases, and that the Company could not make any changes that disadvantage employees in any way during the term of the contract.
The Union’s demand for an immediate 10% wage increase, effective retroactively to November 2, 2022 for bargaining unit employees was still deferred by the Company.
The Union also raised additional concerns about the Company’s abysmal record of sex and gender discrimination by pointing out how those matters have been hidden from public view through mandatory individual employment arbitration agreements in the past and again requested relevant and necessary information to quantify the extent of the ongoing problem. Despite insisting on preserving its ability to contract work out of the bargaining unit through its Management Rights clause, the Company refuses to provide relevant and necessary information on this count beyond the bargaining unit.
Importantly, we remain emboldened by the NLRB decision finding merit to our unfair labor practice charge alleging ABK illegally withheld raises from organized workers and, without a settlement, will prosecute the company for withholding them. This is a critical victory in our continuing fight for respect, equity, and a fair contract, bargained in good faith.
The Bargaining Committee is confident that through our continued solidarity, mobilization, and bargaining, we will prevail and win a fair contract.