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Industrial Freedom

Fighting back tiers, around the world.

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The following web links are intended to provide a convenient chronological resource of news, views and opinions with regard to two tier wage and benefit schemes.  Inclusion in this list does not represent an endorsement by nomoretiers.org .

Support the workers at Molson Coors Edmonton: Fighting for the future!
cawcouncil4000.com : undated

The 102 members of CAW Local 284 employed at Molson Coors Brewery in Edmonton have been on strike since May 30, 2007.  Despite pre-tax earnings of $483 million in the last fiscal year, and the Edmonton operation just winning a 'World Class Manufacturing award' for being the most efficient plant within the Company world-wide, Molson Coors Brewing Company came to the bargaining table demanding major concessions from the Edmonton work force.

The Company wants a permanent wage roll-back of $7.15/hour less for all new hires compared to the wages of current workers.  

Additionally, new workers would be forced to accept a defined contribution pension plan instead of the existing defined benefit plan.  This is only worth 20% of what current workers receive.  With 44 workers set to retire over the next few years, this could create a two-tier pension system among Local 284 members.

Full text at... http://www.cawcouncil4000.com/campaigns/molson-coors_boycott.html

Workers represented by the CAW at Molson Coors
(Alberta Fed. calls boycott)
Source CNW : July 4, 2007

Coors Brewery in Edmonton, Alberta have entered into their fifth week on strike.

More than 100 workers have been off the job since May 30 when Molson Coors insisted on establishing a two-tier wage and pension plan among workers and that workers bear the brunt of other large concessions.

Full text at... http://www.tcrccpreasttrainmen.ca/07_4_2007.htm

ufcw1518: June 28, 2007

60,000 UFCW members in southern California have sent a loud message to their employers by voting overwhelmingly in favour of strike action.

The UFCW members are employees of Safeway's Vons stores, as well as Ralphs and Albertsons stores. Just over three years ago, the UFCW in southern California struck the same employers for 4 ½ months. With negotiations going nowhere this time around, the union was left with no choice but to seek a strike mandate. UFCW leaders have said they do not have immediate plans to call a strike.

"Even after going through a very long strike just a few years ago, the UFCW members in southern California still voted strongly in favour of a strike if necessary, and I think that's a real tribute to those members that they are still determined to fight for what is fair," said Ivan Limpright, President of UFCW 1518. "Like our members here in B.C., they know the companies they work for are very profitable as a result of the hard work they do, and they know they deserve a more fair share of those profits."

Full text at... http://www.ufcw1518.com/view.php?id=1961

Harley workers OK three-year pact ending strike
James B. Kelleher : February 23, 2007

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Workers at Harley-Davidson Corp.'s largest plant approved a new contract on Thursday, the workers' union said, ending a three-week-old strike that cost the company an estimated $11 million a day.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers characterized the agreement as "a significant improvement" over the proposal rejected by workers earlier this month, preserving existing health-care benefits for current employees and killing the company's proposal for a two-tier wage system for new workers.

In a statement, IAM said the contract, which will raise workers' pay 12 percent over three years, was approved by 83 percent of the voting members of IAM Local 175.

Full text at... http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/financialpost/story.html?id=51080a43-8da6-4a37-a55f-77e8a92728d4&k=29008

Workers hit the picket line at Harley-Davidson
By Lee Sustar : February 9, 2007

The 2,700 workers, members of International Association of Machinists (IAM) Local Lodge 175, voted by 98 percent to authorize a strike over Harley’s demand to increase health care costs for current employees and force new hires into a lower-tier pay schedule.

The company has already extracted similar concessions from workers, members of the United Steelworkers, in its Milwaukee engine plant in a contract ratified in November. That deal not only imposed a two-tier pay system and raised health care costs but also cut retiree benefits and cost-of-living adjustments. In return, management promised to invest $120 million in the Milwaukee plant and add 100 jobs there rather than outsource the work.

Full text at... http://www.socialistworker.org/2007-1/618/618_11_Harley.shtml

Stater Bros. workers approve new [no two-tier] contract
By Jennifer Davies
January 19, 2007

Grocery workers have overwhelmingly approved a new contract with Stater Bros. that would eliminate a two-tier pay scale under which new hires get significantly lower wages and benefits than veteran employees.

The two-tier system, which was considered an important win for the supermarket chains after a lengthy strike three years ago, has been a bone of contention for the grocery workers.

Full text at... http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/business/20070119-9999-1b19grocery.html

Wage issue exposes rift in Liberal ranks
CBC News
Thursday, April 27, 2006

The current and former leaders of the Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal party are at odds over changes in the minimum wage, suggesting a division within the key opposition party.

Liberal Leader Jim Bennett suggested earlier this month that there should be a two-tier minimum wage.

Under Bennett's proposal, workers under 17 would be paid $6 per hour. Workers 18 and older would be paid $8 per hour.

Full text at... http://www.cbc.ca/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2006/04/27/nf-libs-rift-20060427.html

Youth endure low union wages
By Pieta Woolley, April 20, 2006

VANCOUVER,B.C. — Many Lower Mainland youth are condemned to poverty due to management pressing unions to accept two-tier wage agreements, according to the president of the Vancouver and District Labour Council. Bill Saunders told the Straight that a two-tier wage concession for grocery workers accepted many years ago by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union “because they were forced to”, let older employees keep their wages and benefits. Some new union members were hired for as little as $7.50, he said. Saunders stated that the real issue is that companies impose these measures on unions, and it’s not in the interest of labour organizations.

Full text at... http://www.straight.com/content.cfm?id=17370

Bennett proposes two-tier minimum wage
CBC News : April 19, 2006

Student and labour groups are opposed to a suggestion by the leader of the provincial Liberal party to set different minimum wages.

Jim Bennett has proposed that the minimum wage be increased to $8 an hour for everyone 18 and over, and lowered to only $6 an hour for anyone under that age.

The current minimum hourly wage for everyone in the province is $6.50.

Full text at... http://www.cbc.ca/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2006/04/19/nf-minimum-wage-20060419.html

"Six bucks sucks" - CUPE NL. president slams two-tier minimum wage idea
CNW Group : April 18 2006

ST. JOHN'S, April 18 /CNW/ - Canada's largest union says an idea being floated by the head of the provincial Liberal party for a two-tier minimum wage system would be a huge step backwards for this province.

Liberal Leader Jim Bennett has said he would like to see wages for those over the age of 18 boosted to eight dollars an hour, but people under the age of 18 be paid six dollars an hour.

Full text at... http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/April2006/18/c8804.html

French Youth Up in Arms Over New Labor Law
Ronda Hauben 2006-03-13

The demonstrations in Paris in May 1968 have become a symbol of the protest movement that swept the globe in the 1960s. The massive demonstrations on March 7 in 160 towns and cities in France, and the subsequent student strikes and university occupations and demonstrations, planned or in process, have raised the question as to whether these recent protests will lead to a similar social unrest as occurred in the 1960s.

On March 7, up to a million people in France demonstrated in opposition to the French government's plan to pass a new law that was then in the French Senate. The law has come to be known as CPE, the "Contrat Premiere Embauche"; in English, the "First Employment Contract." Despite the protest, the government passed the bill the next day so that it is now a law. The law was passed in a way that sidestepped the debate and discussion that is a traditional part of the legislative process in France.

Full text at... http://english.ohmynews.com/ArticleView/article_view.asp?no=279060&rel_no=1

PPG Workers Accept [two-tier] Contract
By ADAM TOWNSEND, February 15, 2006

NEW MARTINSVILLE — The International Chemical Workers Council of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 45 voted Wednesday to accept a contract offer from PPG following two days of negotiations last week.

According to PPG spokesman Jeff Worden, workers at the Natrium Plant will be heading back to work over the next several weeks.

Full text at... http://theintelligencer.net/articles.asp?articleID=2301

PPG Deal Is Offered
By ADAM TOWNSEND, February 10, 2006

WHEELING — After a two days of lengthy negotiations, PPG management and the union representing its striking Natrium Plant workers have hammered out a contract offer to present to union members for a vote next week.

Mel Montes, president of the International Chemical Workers Council of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 45, said mediators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service called the meetings Wednesday, and the parties met again all day Thursday at Oglebay Park in Wheeling.

Full text at... http://theintelligencer.net/articles.asp?articleID=2076

Still No Contract for PPG Employees After Talks
By ADAM TOWNSEND, February 02, 2006

Union officials Wednesday evening said PPG mediators called for talks with striking Natrium plant workers in response to efforts by West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin to bring the parties together, but there was no progress in negotiating a contract after a day of discussions.

A spokesman for PPG, Jeff Worden, said Wednesday that the company and the International Chemical Workers Council of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 45, which represents the Natrium plant wage employees, were called to meet.

Full text at... http://theintelligencer.net/articles.asp?articleID=1738

Ground Workers To Vote On Tentative Agreement
wcco.com : Jan 20, 2006

(AP) Minneapolis Ground workers for Northwest Airlines Corp. will begin voting within weeks on a tentative agreement that saves about 82 percent of jobs and rejects the company's two-tier wage scheme, a union official said Friday.

The proposal also increases the number of part-time workers Northwest is allowed to hire and changes the way employees are paid when they are sick.

Full text at... http://wcco.com/traffic/local_story_020202520.html

Two-Tiers Plan Continues to Strangle American Manufacturing Workers
by Bonnie Henthorn, December 31, 2005

With the rash of corporate bankruptcies, labor disputes and the unprecedented increases in corporate management salaries, bonuses and fringes, profitable corporations are using the same unfair, disrespectful and discriminatory practices to increase their ever growing profits at the expense of the working class.

In a small town in West Virginia, PPG Industries, Inc., a multi-million dollar, global corporation, has offered a two-tier pay system to their 470+ union employees, asking them to ratify a contract that knowingly creates a second “class” of worker with different pay rates and benefits for all new employees. How is a union to represent two classes of workers? They cannot and that is what the company is banking on, the beginning of the end of this local union.

Full text at... http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_bonnie_h_051231_two_tiers_plan_conti.htm

World Business Briefing | Europe: Russia: Ford Agrees to Abolish Two-Tier Wage System
December 13, 2005

A union representative at Ford Motor's assembly plant north of St. Petersburg said yesterday that the company had agreed to abolish a two-tier salary system at the factory, settling one of two outstanding complaints in a labor dispute. Talks between the union and management over a proposed 30 percent pay increase will resume in January, Aleksei V. Etmanov, the union president, said. A spokeswoman for Ford declined to comment. Andrew Kramer (NYT)

Full text at... http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A06E2D81E31F930A25751C1A9639C8B63

PEI Considers Two-Tier Minimum Wage
hillary : October 14, 2005

The P.E.I. government is exploring the possibility of lowering the minimum wage for untrained workers, and people who receive tips or gratuities as part of their job.

Full text at... http://dominionpaper.ca/weblog/2005/10/pei_considers_twotier_minimum_wage.html

Hong Kong Coca-Cola Affiliate Wins Permanent Status for Workers
Posted to the IUF website on 13-Jul-2005

The IUF-affiliated Swire Beverages (Hong Kong) Employees General Union, representing 350 workers at Swire Coca-Cola Hong Kong (SCCHK), recently won permanent status for 130 casual workers.

After 5 years of fighting against casualisation and demanding the regularisation of casual workers, the union campaign gained strength last year. Over a six-month period the union organised a series of meetings and a petition, collecting the signatures of over 90% of the 400 non-permanent workers employed at the SCCHK plant in Shatin district. Approximately half of the 600 workers employed in production alone are non-permanent. A key part of the union's strategy has been to organise non-permanent workers, representing them as dues-paying union members in negotiations with management.

Full text at... http://www.iuf.org/cgi-bin/dbman/db.cgi?db=default&uid=default&ID=2173&view_records=1&ww=1&en=1

Breaking the Grip of High Labor Costs
Fay Hansen June 2005

From heavy industry to the retail sector, companies are using two-tier compensation systems to permanently reset wages.

...Cost savings may contract if the two-tier system increases turnover among new hires, but the cost of higher turnover should be easy to track, notes Howard L. Bernstein, a partner with law firm Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP in Chicago. He cautions, however, that some two-tier plans have not been as effective as anticipated. "Given the state of the economy, many companies are simply laying off employees at all levels and not replacing them. With little or no turnover or job growth, a two-tier system produces no economic gain."

Full text at... http://www.businessfinancemag.com/magazine/archives/article.html?articleID=14424&pg=2

Clothing bosses want two-tier wage deal
By Margie Inggs : May 29, 2005

Durban - The Natal Clothing Manufacturers' Association (NCMA) is holding a gun to the head of the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers' Union (Sactwu) by refusing to participate in bargaining council wage talks or to extend the main agreement in KwaZulu-Natal unless the union agrees to negotiate a two-tier wage model for the province.

A similar wage agreement has been negotiated in the footwear industry, where semi-formal employers only have to pay 60 percent of the wage rate applicable to formal employers.

Full text at... http://www.busrep.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=&fArticleId=2537731

Mayday in Korea 2005
By John Barker

NoMoreTiers.org, May 01, 2005
Protesters clashed with police in Seoul South Korea while protesting poor wages and lack of job security for temporary workers, as tens of thousands of workers celebrated May Day, with mostly traditional rallies and marches across the country.

Over half the work force in Korea are now employed as temporary workers: a result of the "flexibilization" of the labor market that occurred in Korea after the IMF crisis in '97. Most of these workers are discriminated against as compared to regular workers, and do not have the protection of the law or the benefits that regular workers enjoy. Abolition of discrimination against temporary workers, and the establishment of equal treatment with regular workers, is an important task that the labor movement in Korea faces.

Full text at... http://www.nomoretiers.org/maydaykorea.htm

ON JAPAN: Two-Tier Economy
By Edward J. Lincoln

Newsweek Japan, April 20, 2005
Quoted in Council on Foreign Relations website.

Americans have been told for decades that "lifetime" employment in Japan was a great system for workers, companies and the economy. I have heard it claimed countless times that the Japanese system produced loyal, flexible employees who were more productive and more adaptable to technological changes in their jobs than were American workers. Now that system is changing. But the current situation has had some serious negative consequences, and I believe reform needs to move even further.

Full text at... http://www.cfr.org/pub8056/edward_j_lincoln/on_japan__twotier_economy.php

Motorola's Two-Tier Benefits
Stephen Taub, March 25, 2005

New hires at the electronics and cell-phone maker are no longer eligible to participate in Motorola's pension plan, in the company's supplemental retirement benefits plan, or in its postretirement health-care plan.

Motorola is the latest company not to offer retirement benefits to new employees.

The electronics and cell-phone maker announced in its annual report that effective January 1, 2005, new hires are not eligible to participate in Motorola's pension plan, in the company's supplemental retirement benefits plan, or in its postretirement health-care plan.

Full text at... http://www.cfo.com/article.cfm/3806177/c_3806210?f=home_todayinfinance

Proposed Monroe Agreement (already ratified)
Proposed Agreement between Guide Corporation,
Monroe, LA plant and the United Auto Workers, Local 1977
07 March 2005

All Long Term Temps To Be Converted

Your bargaining committee was successful in getting all of our brothers and sisters off long term temporary status and converted to permanent active employees. Management has agreed to the following:

(Word deleted - unlegible) long term temporaries will be converted to permanent status by seniority in accordance with the National Agreement by no later than the second Monday following ratification...

Full text at... http://www.factoryrat.com/factoryrat/modules.php?name=News

Cuts slow lower-wage hires
Big 3's struggles prevent Visteon, Delphi from hiring workers at second-tier pay scale.
By Ed Garsten and Brett Clanton / The Detroit News / February 27, 2005

It was heralded as a major concession last fall when the United Auto Workers allowed several automotive suppliers to offer lower pay and less generous benefits for new blue-collar workers.

But production cuts at GM and Ford have severely crimped efforts by Delphi Corp., Visteon Corp. and American Axle & Manufacturing Inc. to hire a new wave of workers at a second-tier pay scale.

Full text at... http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosinsider/0502/27/B01-101204.htm

Northern California Locals Approve Contract with Grocery Employers
Las Vegas Local 711 Ratifies Contract with Supermarkets
UFCW February 14, 2005

San Francisco Bay Area UFCW Local Union employees ratified a contract agreement with supermarkets Albertsons, Safeway and Ralphs (Kroger) that provides wage increases and preserves affordable health care and pension security.

Approved by almost two-thirds of food clerks and meat-department workers, the contract also maintains no employee-paid health care premiums, no two-tier wage structure and no two-tier health care benefits.

Full text at... http://www.ufcw.org/your_industry/retail/bargaining_updates/completed_contracts/bayand711.cfm

Two-Tier and Lump Sum Contracts Reappear
The Labor Research Association

January 11, 2005

The United Auto Workers' January 9 ratification of a new six-year contract with Caterpillar Inc. is part of the reemergence of two-tier pay systems, which pay lower wages to new workers. Under the new Caterpillar agreement, new hires will make $10 to $15 per hour depending on job classification, compared with veteran workers who started at $20 to $22 per hour. Current "supplemental" workers who become full-time workers will make about $17 an hour under the new contract.

In addition to the two-tier system, the new contract calls for lump-sum payments instead of wage increases. Workers will receive lump sum payments equaling 4 percent of their average annual earnings in 2005, 3 percent in 2006 and 2007, and 2 percent in 2008 and 2009. Workers also will receive a $3,000 bonus within 30 days for ratifying the contract.

Full text at... http://www.laborresearch.org/story2.php/372

Sacramento-area workers OK deal
By James Temple, Jan. 08, 2005

After nearly a year of negotiations, Sacramento area grocery workers have, by an 83.2 percent margin, ratified a three-year labor contract with six supermarkets...

..."We approached our negotiations with these goals: no employee-paid premiums for health care benefits; no two-tier wage structure; no two-tier health care benefits and maintain the finest contract in the supermarket industry," said UFCW 588 President Jacques Loveall in a prepared statement. "We accomplished all those goals."

Full text at... http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/10597646.htm

Hempfield union members OK new pact
By Liz Zemba (12 Dec 2004)
Tribune Review

Hempfield Area Educational Support Personnel Association ratified a tentative agreement Saturday, leaving it up to the school board to decide whether the two sides will have a new, five-year contract...

...The current offer, Gall said, calls for low-tier employees with 10 years' service to receive an additional 50 cents per hour on top of any other raise to which they will be entitled. For eligible low-tier employees, Gall said, the extra raise will bring them to within $2.50 per hour of their high-tier co-workers.

Full text at... http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/trib/westmoreland/s_282484.html

Stage set for Hempfield strike
By Liz Zemba (1 Dec 2004)
Tribune Review

A last-ditch attempt to avert a strike in the Hempfield Area School District has failed, clearing the way for a walkout of bus drivers, cafeteria workers and other support personnel.

The major sticking point in talks has been a two-tier wage structure that has some employees earning up to $4.50 less per hour than their peers who perform the same job, according to the union.

Full text at... http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/trib/westmoreland/s_278461.html

Coca-Cola Korea unions win regular status for casual workers
Posted to the IUF website on 01-Dec-2004

In collective bargaining negotiations with the Coca-Cola Korea Bottling Company (CCKBC-a unit of Coca-Cola Amatil) concluded in July 2004, the CCKBC Labour Union won permanent employment for casual workers as part of a broader union struggle against casualization.

Full text at... http://www.iuf.org/cgi-bin/dbman/db.cgi?db=default&uid=default&ID=2669&view_records=1&ww=1&en=1

Coca-Cola Sri Lanka: CMU Wins Permanent Status for Casual Employees
Posted to the IUF website on 12-Nov-2004

On November 1, the IUF-affiliated CMU signed a new two-year collective agreement with Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka (effective retroactively from July 1, 2004) that brings important gains for the workers. The union represents both clerical and production workers at the Biyagama soft drinks plant. The new CBA stipulates that all casual workers at the facility will be given permanent status (in two stages) by January 2007. The agreement also brings a wage increase of 10 percent in the first year and 5 percent in the second and a doubling of the annual bonus, among other provisions.

Full text at... http://www.iuf.org/cgi-bin/dbman/db.cgi?db=default&uid=default&ID=2638&view_records=1&ww=1&en=1

Visteon's woes do not bode well for prospect of two-tier wages
By Daniel Howes
The Detroit News (17 Oct 2004)

The defining issue of last year's contract between Detroit's automakers and the United Auto Workers could soon be a dead issue if Visteon Corp., the cash-strapped supplier [that] two-tier wages were supposed to help, doesn't step up hiring. as fast as expected.

Under terms of Visteon's separation from parent Ford Motor Co. in 2000, some 18,000 of Visteon's 21,000 hourly workers retain rights to return to Ford as openings occur. So far, just 750 workers have returned this year, meaning Visteon's hiring of new workers at lower "gotta-have" wage rates isn't happening nearly

Full text at... http://www.detnews.com/2004/insiders/0411/20/b01-323777.htm

Wage tiers threaten UAW unity
By Brett Clanton
The Detroit News (17 Oct 2004)

Betty Werner doesn't complain about making less than half the pay and benefits of her co-workers on the line at Visteon Corp.'s parts plant in Sterling Heights...     But Don Thomas, a veteran worker at Delphi Corp.'s Rochester, N.Y., plant, sees the arrival of Werner and others like her as an affront to the auto industry's tradition of good and equal pay for hard work....

Full text at... http://www.detnews.com/2004/autosinsider/0410/18/a01-306125

Delphi Corporation/UAW Two-Tier Theory & Dangers
By Todd Jordan (17 Oct 2004)

Many times I've sat and wondered about the two-tier wage system enterting supplier plants like Delphi. It almost seems as if General Motors had a hidden agenda when they sold off Delco to Delphi. I don't think Delco being owned by General Motors would have been able get the dirty push for the two-tier wages through. But by selling it off, GM would be able to let Delco/Delphi move two-tier wages without getting their hands dirty...

Full text at... http://www.futureoftheunion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=565

Seattle Grocery Workers Locked in Contract Battle
by Jill Gannicott and Andrew Heyman (Aug 2004)

Negotiations for Seattle-area grocery workers are at a critical crossroads. Contracts with Safeway, Albertsons, and Kroger-owned stores for 25,000 members of five United Food and Commercial Workers locals expired May 2...
Most troubling is the specter of a two-tier wage and benefit system. A small but increasingly militant and vocal group of UFCW clerks has launched a "Vote No on Two-Tier" campaign. They are spreading the word through a website and newsletter, talks with co-workers, and planning sessions.

Full text at... http://www.labornotes.org/archives/2004/08/articles/f.html

UNISON [UK] wins extension of two-tier workforce deal
UNISON NEWS (21 July 2004)

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis has finally pushed the government to honour its pledge to end the two-tier workforce across the public services.

The ground-breaking deal will end the exploitation of low paid workers by private companies which take over public service contracts.

Full text at... http://www.unison.org.uk/news/news_view.asp?did=1591

UAW and Visteon sign contract with two-tier wage deal
May 7, 2004

DETROIT - Visteon Corp. and the United Auto Workers signed a seven-year supplemental labor agreement Thursday that allows the world's second-largest automotive supplier to pay new hires represented by the UAW far less than current workers.

The two sides announced a tentative deal April 29. The two-tiered wage arrangement also requires newly hired employees to pay higher out-of-pocket health care costs, part of an overall compensation plan Visteon says will make it more competitive.

Full text at... http://www.theoaklandpress.com/stories/050704/bus_20040507055.shtml

Two-Tiered Grocery Contract Leaves Anger, Questions
By N. Renuka Uthappa (April 2004)

On the last day of February, striking and locked-out grocery workers in Southern California ended their stand against Safeway-owned Vons/Pavillions, Albertsons, and Kroger-owned Ralphs chains.

The new two-tiered contract and the UFCW leadership's handling of the strike have angered many rank-and-file grocery workers who, along with new-hires, will pay a steep price during the three-year contract and possibly beyond. But there are some indications that their frustration may lead to greater involvement in the union.

Full text at... http://www.labornotes.org/archives/2004/04/articles/a.html

Mayor Gets Labor-Pact Savings That Eluded His Predecessors
By STEVEN GREENHOUSE : April 22, 2004

The three-year deal that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg reached Tuesday night with the city's biggest municipal union, District Council 37, achieved a goal that has repeatedly eluded mayors over the last two decades: broad labor savings to help balance their budgets.

Mr. Bloomberg not only persuaded District Council 37 to agree to lower starting salaries and benefits for newly hired workers important savings in themselves but also got the union to pledge to work closely with the administration to find additional workplace savings in the future.

Full text at... http://www.pipeline.com/~rougeforum/dc37kneels.html

T&G demands end to two-tier pay at Sainsbury's
6 Apr 2004

The Transport and General Workers Union, whose membership in the retail giant Sainsbury's continues to grow, has demanded full national pay negotiating rights so that two-tier pay practices can be ended. Brian Revell, the T&G national organiser for food and agriculture met with Sainsbury's senior management yesterday after a series of complaints by staff at the stores across the UK of a pay rise for some but a pay freeze for others was being imposed depending on which contract people were on.

Full text at... http://www.tgwu.org.uk/Templates/News.asp?NodeID=90690&int1stParentNodeID=89396&int2ndParentNodeID=89396&Action=Display

Surrender at the Supermarket
by Robert Greene (March 5-11 04)

The four-and-a-half-month-long Southern California grocery strike illustrated perfectly the basic time-tested strategy of a successful labor action: Organize. Promote solidarity. Prepare for a long fight. Stay the course no matter how deep the financial hardship. Outlast the other side by a day.

Unfortunately...that successful strategy was employed by the three supermarket chains...and the companies now have pretty much what they demanded in October: a contract that partially shifts the health-benefits burden to employees and moves new hires to an inferior pay scale. The three corporate giants slashed their labor costs. The union got clobbered.

Full text at... http://www.laweekly.com/ink/04/15/news-greene.php

American Axle gets 2-tiered pay plan
In tentative deal, UAW OKs system it despised
By Jeffrey McCracken. 28 Feb '04

Detroit Free Press - The UAW's quick settlement Friday morning of the one-day strike at American Axle & Manufacturing Inc. in Detroit finds the union again authorizing a concept it once loathed -- a two-tier wage structure that ensures future employees never make as much as current ones.

The tentative 4-year deal guarantees all of the American Axle plants stay open during the contract and gives about 6,500 UAW members a $5,000 signing bonus. About 4,500 of those workers are based in Michigan.

Full text at... http://www.freep.com/money/autonews/axle28_20040228.htm

UAW autoworkers snookered in contract
Live Bait & Ammo # 45
By Gregg Shotwell (16 Nov 2003)

A flyer circulated in certain GM plants accused UAW members who opposed the national contract of being "misleading and even reckless". The accusation is not so much a case of the pot calling the kettle black as it is the travesty of a rapist calling the victim a whore.

Full text at... http://www.labournet.net/world/0311/usauto2.html

Palestinian Workers Deserve Equal Rights for Equal Work
KavLaOved.org (Nov.13 '03)

While Israeli workers in the occupied territories enjoy salary-related benefits as determined by Israeli law, Palestinian workers employed by Israelis in the occupied territories receive only what the Jordanian law mandated as it stood in 1967. Tens of thousands of Palestinian workers employed by Israelis in settlements and in industrial areas along the green line (the 1967 border) have been suffering this form of discrimination for years. Arab-Israeli economic cooperation is encouraged and hailed as a peace-builder; peace, however, cannot be based on discrimination. There can be no peace without equality.

Full text at... http://www.kavlaoved.org.il/katava_main.asp?news_id=728&sivug_id=3

Southern California;Grocers, union agree to meet
Frank Green (San Diego Union-Tribune,Nov. 8 '03)

With the holidays approaching, both sides of the contentious labor dispute are taking heavy financial losses, even as they maintain steely resolve about such contentious contract issues as soaring health care costs and a two-tier pay and benefits system under which new hires would be paid less and get fewer benefits.

Full text at... http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/business/20031108-9999_1b8grocery.html

Auto Union Embraces Two-Tier Wages.
Jane Slaughter (LABORnotes Oct.'03)

The United Auto Workers' new contracts with the Big Three automakers and two top suppliers signal the union's unabashed acceptance of a two-tier system, both within the auto industry itself and between new-hires and current workers.

Full text at... http://www.labornotes.org/archives/2003/10/b.html

UAW Pay Issue Unresolved.
BY Jeffrey McCracken AND Jamie Butters (Sept 26 2003)

Detroit Free Press. Even after this tentative UAW contract is voted on -- and likely ratified by members -- there are still intensive negotiations ahead for the union and management at Delphi Corp. and Visteon Corp.

The tentative deal calls for the union and the two large suppliers to negotiate on "competitive wages and benefits" for hires later this year or early next year. This almost certainly will mean far lower wages and benefits for future hires.

Full text at... http://www.freep.com/money/autonews/uaw26_20030926.htm

The Lowlights.
By Gregg Shotwell (Sept 26 2003)

Why should we ratify a contract that is incomplete? The fates of new hires at Delphi and Visteon are still undecided. The International is committed to negotiating "competitive wage and benefit levels" [read: $16 per hour] within six months. Plant closings, consolidations, and sales are not finalized. Buy outs for retirees affected by plant closings are undetermined. If we ratify, we lose leverage...

Full text at... http://www.greggshotwell.net/Lowlights.php

Monkeys Strike for Equal Pay and Justice!
By John Whitfield (18 September 2003)

(BioEd Online) Monkeys strike for equal pay. They down tools if they see another monkey get a bigger reward for doing the same job, US researchers have found.

The experiments show that notions of justice extend beyond humans, says Sarah Brosnan of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. This is probably an innate ability that evolved in our primate ancestor, she believes: "You need a sense of fairness to live in large, complex groups."

Full text at... http://www.bioedonline.org/news/news.cfm?art=524

End two-tier workforce
Management Issues News 09 Sep 2003

A report from the government's favourite think tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research has warned that public-private partnerships are unlikely to gain public support while cost improvements are gained from "cutting of terms and conditions of low-paid public service staff rather than through genuine productivity improvements."

The issue of unequal pay in relation to public service contracts with the private sector is creating a two-tier labour market and putting the government's public sector agenda at risk, according to the report.

Full text at... http://www.management-issues.com/display_page.asp?section=topics&id=861

Keep Voting Till You Get It Right
Jane Slaughter (LABORnotes Sept.'03)

The UAW International's actions at the Three Rivers, Michigan plant of American Axle and Manufacturing (AAM) could signal a willingness to drastically cut wages for new-hires at the big parts companies. As bargaining with the Big Three was proceeding in August, AAM was demanding a contract reopener and lower wages, in order to bid successfully on new work. The International insisted on a three-tier wage scale at the Three Rivers plant, further fracturing the pattern wage at AAM.

Full text at... http://www.labornotes.org/archives/2003/09/f.html

UK Hospital Workers Strike Against Two-Tier Pay
by Aurora Shannon and Rose Knight. June 16, 2003

LONDON; Cleaners, porters, and catering staff working at Whipps Cross Hospital in Leytonstone went on strike for 48 hours on May 28 and 29. They work for ISS Mediclean, which supplies staff for National Health Service hospitals. The workers, members of the union UNISON, are demanding a pay increase to £5.53 an hour and a guaranteed end to the two-tier wage scale. They are currently paid an average of £4.62 an hour.

Full text at... http://www.themilitant.com/2003/6720/672004.html

Youth to pay Price
by Htun Lin. Nov 2002

We rob from the young in other ways. In 1986, we hospital workers fought management's introduction of a two-tier wage by striking for eight weeks. The union officials settled behind our backs. We were stuck with a 15 percent, two tier wage structure but a bonus for existing employees. That's how bosses get us to rob from future generations of workers. They bribe us.

Full text at... http://www.newsandletters.org/Issues/2002/November/wst_Nov02.htm

SEIU 250
The Health Care Workers Union of Northern California.
Two-Tier's Gotta Go. 29 Oct 2002

Two-tier wages were a bad idea 16 years ago and they remain a bad idea today, ...We warned management then that two-tier wages are discriminatory and divisive, ... members made great personal sacrifices to strike for seven weeks against this wage discrimination.

The B-2 [two tier] structure is a form of institutional wage discrimination against one group of people doing the exact same work as another, in many cases side-by-side ... resentment felt by our members ... as a result of the two-tier wage structure damages the effectiveness of the national labor/Kaiser partnership.

Full text at... http://www.seiu250.org/docUploads/KaiserCommWages1002.pdf#search='The B2 [two tier]'

500 Hour Jobs (then you're fired)
David D. Schreck
November 1 , 2001

In his interview on CKNW's Bill Good show Thursday, November 1st, Labour Minister Graham Bruce spoke about how some employers might create a number of positions just for the purpose of "training" new employees so as to give young people a first job experience. He explained how those young people might then be let go so someone else would have a chance - revolving maximum 500 hour jobs. Almost makes you think that they've considered how to make $6 the real minimum wage.

Full text at... http://www.strategicthoughts.com/record2001/minwage.html

B.C.'s two-tier minimum wage plan open to abuse
NUPGE : 21 October 2001

Vancouver - A plan by Liberal government of Premier Gordon Campbell to implement a minimum training wage program is open to abuse by employers, says the British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE).

"A two-tiered minimum wage plan, with a lower wage for new employees, is an open door for abuse," says BCGEU president George Heyman.

"How will you prevent employers from rotating employees through these positions? The government's plan will also make it even more difficult for students and other young people to make ends meet," Heyman said.

Full text at... http://www.nupge.ca/news_2001/news_oc01/n21oc01a.htm

Teamsters win two-year strike at Basic Vegetable
by REBECCA WESTON August 31, 2001

KING CITY, Calif.--After two long years, 750 International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 890 members are celebrating an amazing victory in their fight for a new contract at Basic Vegetable.

Basic Vegetable is a large producer of dehydrated onion, garlic and potato products. In the face of relentless union-busting attacks, the largely Latino workforce remained solid, and in the process, galvanized strong support from local residents.

Strikers won the right to return to work, an 8 percent wage increase over two years and protections against cuts in their seniority rights, health and welfare benefits, pensions and severance pay.

Full text at... http://www.socialistworker.org/2001/376/376_15_BasicVeg.shtml

Contract ends lockout at Vancouver meat plant
April 30, 2001

VANCOUVER, British Columbia--Meat packers at Fletcher's Fine Foods here approved a concession contract, ending an eight-month lockout by the company. The vote was 238 to 117. Since 1998 the unionists have fought demands by Fletcher's for steep wage cuts and work rule changes. During the lockout, they kept up picket lines, reached out to other struggles for solidarity, and stood up to threats by the bosses to close the plant.

While the workers pushed back many of the concession demands, the contract allows the company to institute a permanent two-tier wage structure, to force 170 workers to take a "buyout" and a wage cut if they want to continue to work, and imposes a wage freeze during the five-year life of the agreement. The pact was proposed by a government mediator and supported by union officials. The lockout began August 19 after the workers, members of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1518, rejected the company's last offer by a 96 percent margin.

Full text at... http://www.themilitant.com/2001/6517/651711.html

Australian Treasurer advocates lower wages in rural areas
By Janine Harrison : 8 January 2000

Australian Treasurer Peter Costello provoked widespread anger in regional areas when he floated a proposal last December for a two-tier wage scheme aimed at cutting pay rates for country-based workers. In an interview with the Age newspaper on December 10, he said that the minimum wage level for Sydney and Melbourne was "not necessarily appropriate for regional centres". He called for greater "flexibility on wages" in order to reduce the high levels of unemployment in regional areas.

Full text at... http://www.wsws.org/articles/2000/jan2000/rur-j08.shtml

UW Staff Fight to End Two-Tier Wage Structure
By Sara Longley : 25 Mar 1999

At the University of Washington, the Department of Labor Studies recently conducted a day-long series of speakers and workshops on the history and future of organized labor. Students at the UW may be closer than they know to the subject. Among non-academic UW employees, unrest is brewing over pay inequality and lack of bargaining rights.

Full text at... http://archive.seattlepressonline.com/article-784.html

Connecticut: Telephone workers break two-tier wage.
Joelle Fishman. 26 Sept 1998

New Haven: The two-tier wage system was toppled by 6,300 telephone workers in Connecticut, as their militant and creative strike tactics won a new contract after less than a month on strike...

The union utilized a web page, newsletters and weekly mass rallies...local unions and community supporters joined picket lines, donated food and contributed to the strike fund...These solidarity actions insured that no one was put in financial jeopardy and sent a strong message to the company.

The contract was ratified...ending a two-tier system for wages and benefits...and moving pay at SNET closer to the rest of the industry.

Full text at... http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45/176.html

Air France pilots end strike
Pilots union eliminates two-tier pay structure
June 10, 1998

Air France reached an agreement today with striking pilots to end a 10-day walkout that severely undermined preparations for the World Cup...

Air France said the pilots had agreed to accept company shares in exchange for salary cuts -- and the company, in turn, scrapped a two-tier salary scale, under which new pilots earned less.

Full text at... http://www.ble.org/pr/archive/airfrance2.html

United Steelworkers of America
Statement of International Wage Policy Committee (1998)

We have always insisted on equal pay for equal work, and therefore we adamantly oppose any two-tier wage agreements which pit one set of members against another. We are committed as well to pay equity -- equal pay for work of comparable value -- and will strive to correct historical inequities where they exist.

Though we have done much to remove the blight of discrimination from the work place, the task is far from complete. we must continue to insist that employers halt any discriminatory practices and we must strengthen the joint civil rights committee and upgrade its activities and status.

Full text at... (defunct link)

'Increased productivity' : they really mean exploitation
By Sue Boland : 1998

The current discussion about labour productivity is not new. Ever since trade unions began organising last century to restrict the ability of capitalists to exploit workers, capitalists have been trying to persuade (or force) workers to give up rights that have been won.

The current debate about productivity goes back to 1986, when the ACTU agreed to a new version of the Prices and Incomes Accord with the ALP federal government.

In 1986 a two-tier system of pay rises for workers was introduced. The first-tier wage increase was a flat increase for all workers. The second-tier rise was negotiated industry-by-industry in return for unions agreeing to increased productivity (i.e. trading off working conditions).

Full text at... http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/1998/316/316p8.htm

UPS strike awakens passions in contingent army of workers
by Bob McGuire : October 1997

The September strike of transit workers against Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) gained added significance as the first major display of the state of labor after the UPS strike. Workers fought BART not only over wages, but for an end to a permanent two-tier wage system. To do so, the rank and file had earlier tossed out local union officials who had negotiated concessions in the last contract.

What the strike achieved was considerable: an end to the permanent two-tier system limiting workers hired since 1995 to 90% of the full wage; compression of the timetable to receive full wages to three years; and 4% annual wage increases.

Full text at... http://www.newsandletters.org/Issues/1997/Oct/octlead.html

S.F. Strikers Win Victory For All Labor
BART workers push back two-tier pay

SAN FRANCISCO - "We raised the bar for all workers by winning this strike," Steve Gilbert told the Militant. "The fact that we ended the two-tier system and won the wage gains we did sends a message to other workers that they can win some gains too, if they fight." Gilbert has worked for six years as a mechanic at Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).

Some 2,500 Bay Area transit workers who are members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Amalgamated Transit Workers Union (ATU), and American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) stood up to a carefully orchestrated and high- pitched campaign in the big business press and broadcast media here to score some solid gains during their week-long strike, which ended on September 13.

Full text at... http://www.themilitant.com/1997/6133/6133_1.html

Bart workers strike against two-tier
by Herb Kaye
People's Weekly World. (Sept 18 1997)

Rejecting management's proposed contract that would maintain a two tier wage system for five years, the 2600 workers of the Bay Area Regional Transit System (BART), walked out on strike at midnight Saturday Sept. 6. At press time, the two sides were engaged in non-stop talks to reach a tentative agreement.

Full text at... http://www.pww.org/archives97/97-09-13-2.html

Up Against UPS: Striking Back at Two-Tier Inequality
Revolutionary Worker #919, Aug. 17, 1997

On August 4, 185,000 workers went out on strike against United Parcel Service. This country-wide walkout involves more workers than any other strike in this decade.

This is a strike against a company that symbolizes the "restructuring" taking place throughout the U.S. economy. UPS management has ruthlessly applied techniques for intensifying work, reducing its labor costs and eating up their competition. UPS methods have spread throughout the mail industry. The competition has produced such high pressure for workers, including at the government Post Office, that the expression "going postal" is now part of the English language. Last year UPS made a profit of $1 billion on revenues of $22.4 billion.

Full text at... http://rwor.org/a/v19/910-19/919/ups.htm

Two-tier wage system established at Volkswagen.
eiro on-line. May 1997

On 30 April 1997, Volkswagen announced the creation of several hundred temporary jobs. According to an agreement between the company and the IG Metall trade union, the new temporary staff, although being hired on the terms of the current company agreement, will be paid 10 percent less than 'core' employees. This agreement establishes a two-tier system at Volkswagen.

Full text at... http://www.eiro.eurofound.ie/1997/05/InBrief/DE9705113N.html

Pay knowledge and referents in a tiered-employment setting.
By Lee, Raymond T. Autumn 1992

Organizations with two-tier compensation structures place new employees on pay scales which are lower than the pay scales of employees hired before the tiers were implemented. Such pay structures are controversial because they violate the basic union tenet of equal pay for equal work, and thus have been the subject of considerable speculation regarding their impact on employees (Cappelli and Sherer, 1990). Two-tier plans are found more frequently in companies undertaking expansion or where there are high rates of turnover (Martin and Heetderks, 1990), conditions often found in the retail food industry.

Full text at... http://www.allbusiness.com/human-resources/compensation-salary/347324-1.html#

Kaiser Don't Care! SEIU Neither!
Processed World (issue19)
April 1987

"The strike slogan was 'Kaiser Don't Care' and they don't care about the patients. We care about the patients and that's how they get the work out of us and that builds resentment in us... They [Kaiser] know we'll get in there and work our butt off." --Blanche Bebb, X-ray technician, Committee for a Democratic Union (CDU), negotiating committee member, SEIU Local 250.

Full text at... http://www.processedworld.com/Issues/issue19/i19kaiser.htm

USAir Attendants Ratify Pact With 2-Tier Wage Structure
The New York Times Archives (AP)
August 22, 1985

Flight attendants at USAir have ratified a new contract, accepting a two-tier wage scale with lower rates for newly hired workers, their union announced.

The contract, which is retroactive to Sept. 1, 1984 and covers 2,300 attendants, was approved by a 3-to-1 margin.

It provides pay increases of 4.04 percent for veteran workers over the life of the two-year agreement, according to the union, the Association of Flight Attendants.

Full text at... http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F01E0D8163BF931A1575BC0A963948260

Two-tier salaries gaining support
SAT 07/13/85

BESET WITH COST OVERRUNS in his defense budget in 218 A.D., the Roman emperor Macrinus came up with what he thought was a clever solution. He decided to pay new recruits at a lower rate than his experienced soldiers. The plan turned out to be a flop: The army revolted and Macrinus was beheaded.

The idea of a two-tier labor system has survived, however. In fact, it is rapidly picking up support in this country and may eventually reshape the way salaries and benefits are paid to future employees - especially those earning $40,000 a year or less. Just recently, United Air Lines wrapped up a new labor pact that gives starting pilots $1,800 a month in their first year and $2,200 a month in their second. By contrast, the previous contract called for starting salaries of $1,871 a month, rising to $3 ,646 a month the second year.

Full text at... http://www.bhopal.net/oldsite/presscoverage/houstonchronicle/archive/19850713-carbideshares.html

A Two-Tier Sword
TIME (From the Magazine | Business)
Aug. 6, 1984

One week after negotiations broke down on a new contract with unions representing 600,000 postal workers, the U.S. Postal Service last week imposed a two-tier wage system to reduce costs. Under the plan, which Morris Biller, president of the American Postal Workers Union, denounced as a "provocative, union-busting tactic," newly hired workers will be paid about 20% less than those already on the job. Letter carriers, for instance, will start at $17,352, compared with $21,511 for workers hired earlier. The U.S.P.S. takes on about 40,000 workers every year.

Full text at... http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,921739,00.html

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