Dow, Steelworkers Set Positive Tone for Contract Negotiations
Jim Hummel, The Dow Chemical Company - (989) 638-3122
Kent Holsing, United Steelworkers Local 12075 - (989) 615-3901
MIDLAND, Mich. – Labor relations officials at The Dow Chemical Company Michigan Operations and local union leaders kicked off contract negotiations on a positive note Monday with an agreement that has set the stage for productive discussion.
The current collective bargaining agreement between Dow and United Steelworkers Local 12075 is set to expire on Feb. 11 at 8 a.m. As negotiations over a new contract begin this week, Dow has agreed it will not lock out bargaining unit employees for at least 45 days after the current contract expires, while the union has committed that members will not strike during the same period. The “no-strike/no-lockout” deal may only be terminated after one party has given the other 45 days advance notice in writing.
“USW recognizes our members’ need to have some stability during this process, and we consider this agreement to be a positive step in our negotiations with Dow,” said Kent Holsing, president of United Steelworkers Local 12075, “We also recognize there are many issues to work out, and this will allow us to tackle important topics without worrying about the expiration of the current contract.”
While the main purpose of the “no-strike/no-lockout” agreement is to reduce anxiety and apprehension among employees, businesses, and customers during contract negotiations, Dow officials and labor leaders emphasized the deal demonstrates their strong commitment to reaching a mutually-agreeable contract through negotiation.
“Dow is committed to negotiating a new labor contract that balances the needs of all stakeholders,” said Craig Tausk, labor relations leader at Dow Michigan Operations, “The ‘no-strike/no-lockout’ agreement will give us the stability we need to concentrate our energy on issues that matter the most to the Company and our workers.”