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Thu, Jul 23, 2009

Bell, UAW 218, Reach Contract Agreement

Workers To Report On July 27th.

United Auto Workers Union Local 218 has ratified a new four year contract with Bell Helicopter, and all employees are expected to return to work on Monday, July 27th.

The margin was more than 2-1 for ratification, 1355 for the pact, and 646 against. 4 ballots were voided.

The Bell Helicopter website lists details of the contract as being general wage increases over the life of the contract, including three general increases of 3 percent in the second, third and fourth years of the contract and 15 anticipated cost-of-living adjustments. The contract also offers increased upgrade pay, accelerated automatic progression increases, and a cash ratification bonus of $3,500.

Workers can select from three consumer-driven health plans each of which provides 100 percent coverage for preventive medical care, options to offset their annual health care costs through company-funded Health Savings and Health Reimbursement Accounts, and Pension-plan improvements that include an 11.7 percent increase in the monthly multiplier from $60 to $67 on Sept. 1, 2009.

There will be fifty paid holidays over the course of the four-year contract.

One of principal sticking points with the union was the re-classification of some janitorial workers. In the ratified contract, there are higher-paying job classifications for current janitors at Bell. The janitor job classification will be phased out by Sept. 30, 2009.

Workers are required to attend an orientation session before they can return to work.

Bell CEO Dick Millman

Union members had been on strike against Bell for 6 weeks. The website reports Dick Millman, president and CEO of Bell Helicopter Textron Inc., said he was glad the company and the union had finally come to terms. "For us to continue to be successful, especially during these challenging economic times, we need our entire work force fully engaged in meeting our customer requirements so we're very happy to have the Bell team back together," Millman said in a statement.



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