Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Home / Commercial Construction / Steamfitters, contractors strike new deal

Steamfitters, contractors strike new deal

Roughly eight months after the contract between the local steamfitters union and its contractors association expired, and a federal lawsuit highlighted their dispute, the two sides approved a new collective bargaining agreement.

Lauri Rollings, executive director of the Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors Association of Milwaukee and Southeastern Wisconsin Inc., said her members unanimously voted Tuesday to accept the tentative agreement.

Dale Powelite, president of Local 601 of the Steamfitters and Refrigeration Service Fitters of the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada, said the steamfitters voted, 131-23, to accept the agreement in January.

All that remains, Rollings said, is to lay out the changes in writing.

The new agreement will run 2½ years and includes a $1.50 hourly wage increase retroactive to Jan. 1. It also includes a $1.60 hourly increase effective June 1, and a $1.70 hourly increase effective June 1, 2014. Benefits will not change.

The dispute between the contractors and the steamfitters began last spring. Their former CBA expired May 31, 2012, and the steamfitters sent a letter to the contractors that stated their desire to amend the agreement.

The two sides disagreed over whether that letter was sent before a deadline and whether the letter was sufficient to trigger negotiations. The contractors sued the steamfitters in June. However, a federal judge dismissed the case in December, ruling it was a dispute that should be settled by arbitration.

The steamfitters worked under the terms of the expired CBA through the end of 2012.

— Beth Kevit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *