Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Merck Settles with Three Unions

Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Merck Settles with Three Unions

Article excerpt

Merck & Co., Inc. and three unions reached agreement on 3-year master and local contracts covering some 2,000 workers at six pharmaceutical manufacturing plants in Georgia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The three unions that were signatories to the contracts were Local 1389 of the Clothing and Textile Workers; Locals 8-86, 8-580, and 8-575 of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers; and Local 609 of the Intemational Chemical Workers Union. (The master contracts cover wages and benefits, while local contracts cover work rules.)

A company official said the agreements respond to the company's needs for competitive wage rates, medical plan cost containment, and improved efficiency through more flexible work rules," and also "respond to the unions' desire for improved benefit programs."

Terms of the master agreements provide for general wage increases of 11-15 percent over the term of the contracts, with the largest increases for employees in more skilled job classifications. All employees will receive wage increases of 5 percent in the first year of the contract. Employees in skilled trades also will receive 5 percent increases in the second and third years of the contract, while employees in semiskilled jobs and unskilled jobs will receive increases of 4 percent and 3 percent. …

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