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Union, Bechtel agree to contract

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By Cheryl Duncan, Assistant Editor

Members of the United Steel Workers Local 9-288 have ratified a new two-year pact with Bechtel Jacobs Co. LLC for work being performed at East Tennessee Technology Park.
The agreement will allow Bechtel Jacobs to complete the remaining scope of work in its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.
It also ensures that an agreement is in place when a new DOE environmental management contractor takes over in July 2011.
“The terms of the agreement represent a win-win for the company and our USW employees,” said Bob Slover, Bechtel Jacobs manager of construction and labor relations.
“It is extremely important to BJC that the USW members know that they are an important part of the overall ETTP team and that without their support, expertise and dedication, the mission could not be successfully and safely accomplished.”
Under the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, USW employees will receive a 4-percent wage increase beginning Aug. 30, and another 4-percent increase on Aug. 29, 2011.
In addition, those employees will receive a one-time $1,000 contract ratification payment on Sept. 9.
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with BJC,” said Local USW President Dennis Pennington. “This settlement remains consistent with our belief that everyone — the union, company and DOE — benefits when the interests of the workers are successfully addressed in a non-adversarial environment.”
To help control increasing costs, the union agreed to delete the cost-of-living allowance clauses that were in the previous agreement, as well as holiday schedule changes for employees working four 10-hour shifts.
“We are confident that the settlement is positive for all involved, including the Department of Energy,” said Jim Hendricks, USW international representative.