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Local 120 COT Unit Approves 2006 City Offer - Union Wins on Key Issues

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3/30/2006
By John Ohlson, Local 120 President
Union wins on key issues: No Pay Cuts and 2006 COLA.
Local 120 Approves City offer:
85 to Accept
14 to Reject

Unbelievable! We had a huge turnout at the February 7, 2006 informational picket rally, with over 60 Union members present. IBEW, SEIU, Teamsters, Jobs With Justice and Longshoremen were all walking the line with us.

We marched around City Hall and filled the City Council Chambers to standing room only capacity. Brock Logan, Celeste Suliin Burris and John Ohlson gave speeches describing our issues to the Council members, while they listened intently.

All in all, it went extremely well, and the next day, the City offered a 1% increase in the 2006 COLA. A further amended 'best and final' offer was tentatively agreed to on March 17th, which effectively dropped the pay cuts from the City's deal. Union officials see this as a win-win solution to end the protracted negotiations, which have gone on for 27 months.

Members of Local 120 stretched around the block in front of City Hall, protesting unfair contract negotiations, and steep pay cuts.

We are protesting unfair bargaining tactics, no Cost of Living increases for 2006, and pay cuts of up to 18% for Union members, while contractors are doing our work to the tune of $125.00 per hour.

The Union rejected the City's 'Best and Final Offer' by a vote of 13 to accept and 75 to reject in a vote held days after the rally. A counter offer was sent back to City negotiators which could settle the contract if the City Council takes it to a vote. The City countered with a third 'best and final offer' on March 17th, which was tentatively agreed to by the bargaining team, and is passed to the membership for a vote with 'No recommendation' to either accept or reject.

We thank the representatives from IBEW Local 483, Teamsters 117 & 313, Longshoremen, SEIU 16, and Jobs With Justice, who all pledged their support and joined us in this landmark event of Labor Activism in Tacoma.
 
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Quote of the day: "For a worker to refuse to belong to a union is not to exercise a democratic freedom. It is to accept benefits that others have worked for without contributing to the costs. Democracy flourishes only when freedom is accompanied by responsibility." (Australian Bank Employees Union).


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