Workers at SIS Northwest ratify first agreement
Local 104 members win wage, benefit improvements
MEMBERS OF BOILERMAKERS Local 104 employed at SIS Northwest, a custom steel fabricator 70 miles north of Seattle, won an impressive first contract March 27 after a 14-month-long union organizing struggle that saw an employee fired and more than a dozen others laid off because of their organizing activities.
The 26-2 ratification vote came on the heels of a ULP settlement agreement in which SIS agreed to pay more than $136,000 in back pay to 16 employees and reinstate 14 workers.
“We were ready to begin hearings before the NLRB regarding injunctive relief against SIS when we reached a tentative agreement,” said Tim Kessler, a Local 104 business representative handling the organizing drive. “The company had made some key management changes, and I think they began to see advantages in mutually good relations, including participation in the benefit programs available through union/management trust funds.”
The new contract includes 100 percent employer-paid medical, dental, vision, and life insurance for employees and their families; participation in the Boilermakers national pension plan; and wage increases of as much as $4.47 per hour.
“This is the best first contract I’ve ever seen,” said David Bunch, a Boilermaker international representative who assisted with the organizing.