Clothing Industry Contracts
Ruben, George, Monthly Labor Review
The Ladies' Garment Workers and several associations of clothing manufacturers negotiated 3-year contracts expected to eventually affect about 125,000 members of the union. The initial accords were with employers in dress, coat and suit, sportswear, and rainwear manufacturing.
The employees will not receive a wage increase in the first contract year, but the employers' financing of benefits was increased to an amount equal to 3.75 percent of payroll, from 2.75 percent. A union official said the resulting improvements in benefits will vary among contracts because of varying conditions of the funds, and that most of the increased funding will be used to help offset rapidly rising medical costs.
The workers will receive a 6-percent pay increase in the second year and a 5-percent increase in the third year. According to the union, pay was about $6 to $6.50 an hour at the May 31, 1985, expiration date of the prior 3-year contract, which provided for wage increases totaling $1. …