Members from IAMAW Local Lodge 388 and Local Lodge 1191 met Friday morning to discuss and vote on the latest contract offer from Eaton Mission Systems Division of Davenport.
The two-hour-plus meeting ended with the membership voting down the contract proposal by a 97% vote to reject the offer, according to a news release from IAMAW District Lodge 6.
This follows a 98% vote to reject taken just two weeks earlier. “If Eaton’s belief was that support within the two bargaining units is waning after two weeks on the strike line, this vote outcome should answer that question,” said John Herrig, directing business representative.
The company’s latest proposals changed in structure from a three-year agreement to a five-year agreement—something that was never at issue from the onset of negotiations—but did nothing to address the issues standing in the way of reaching an agreement, the release says.
“Once again, this was voted down on the issues of healthcare, retirement and wages,” said Jeremy Vercautren Local 388 committee member, “it is questionable that this proposal was any different than the last proposal and our membership saw right through that.”
As negotiations broke down on Wednesday, Eaton representatives said they would not be available until sometime in the week of March 14 at the earliest. Union representatives remain on standby and available at any time, according to the release.
“Our members stand in solidarity. Just as important are those members in the bargaining unit that are not dues-paying union members that are standing with us shoulder-to-shoulder on the line in solidarity,” said Joe Allen, president of Lodge 388.
Rumors continue to circulate about salaried employees at Eaton who are leaving due to the work stoppage and additional pressure placed on them to lessen the impact of the strike. Several salaried employees have stopped by the strike line to say goodbye as they leave Eaton for the last time, the release says.
“It’s sad to see some good people from the salaried side leave because of conditions inside,” said James Anderson, shop chairman for the Local 1191 bargaining unit. “I certainly hope that we can reach an agreement that is competitive with the cost of living instead of Eaton’s lowest paid facilities.”