Monday, February 4, 2013

Victaulic, union agree to contract that includes wage increases

 Union workers for Victaulic Corp. have accepted a three-year contract offer from the Forks Township mechanical piping solutions provider.
Jerry Green, president of United Steelworkers Local 2599, said workers voted today in favor of the contract during a meeting at union headquarters at Van Bittner Hall in Bethlehem. He estimated about 130 of the union’s 210 workers attended the discussion and seven voted against it.

“Both parties took into consideration the economic climate and worked diligently to reach a fair agreement and avoid any chances of a possible work stoppage,” Green said.
The contract includes wage increases of 2 percent in the first.......
year, 2.5 percent in the second year and 3 percent in the third year. There is no change to employee contributions for health care.
The agreement also calls for the company paying an increase in pension plan contributions, as well as an increase in accident and sickness benefits and safety shoe allowances.
The negotiations had kicked off Dec. 17 and needed to be agreed upon by midnight today. Green said negotiations ran much smoother than past years. In 2010, the union ran into eight months of deadlock before coming to an agreement. A major sticking point at the time had been laid-off employees returning to the corporation under the status of “new employees,” Green said.
“It went rather smoothly this time versus what transpired in previous contracts,” he said.
Victaulic spokeswoman Megan Longenderfer agreed. "We are pleased that we were able to work closely with the union to reach a fair agreement in a timely manner."
Victaulic Corp. in 1925 was founded in New York to market what was known as a "radical new concept" in the piping industry: a mechanical, bolted coupling that would engage into pipe grooves and use a gasket seal, Longenderfer has said.
The concept of joining pipe with bolted, mechanical couplings originated during World War I for rapid deployment of fuel and water lines to allied forces.
She said the company had worked extensively with the War Department of England to develop the new method of joining pipes and had been named the Victory Pipe Joint Company after the coupling it had engineered.
Later, combining the words "victory" and "hydraulics," the name was shortened to Victaulic, and the company began to shift its focus to commercial piping applications to market its innovative method of joining pipes.
Today, Victaulic has 11 international manufacturing facilities, 20 major distribution hubs and employs more than 3,500 people worldwide. Victaulic products are available in 120 countries.

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