Connections 2003: First contract for
Local 853 is pleased to welcome 45
new members from Norton Manufacturing,
a Hayward-based manufacturer of
plastic pails. Secretary-Treasurer Rome
Aloise credits Local 853 Organizer Jesse
Casqueiro, who not only organized the
unit, but also negotiated the first contract.
This was the second time that the
workers came to Local 853 to seek representation.
During the first election, the
employer ran the traditional "ive us
another chance" campaign and the workers
bought into it. Just over a year later,
the "another chance" meant layoffs out
of seniority, no callbacks, use of agency
employees while regular workers were
laid off, and many other changes.
The workers had enough and in
November, 2002, the group voted overwhelmingly
for representation by Local
853. After the election, the company filed
objections and refused to bargain. After
months of waiting, the union notified the
company that they planned to inform the
c o m p a n y ís customers about Nortonís
unwillingness to bargain in good faith.
That tactic worked, and the company
agreed to bargain.
After several more months, the union
and Norton finally reached an agreement.
The workers ratified their contract in
October and became Local 853 members.
"Jesse did a great job in keeping the
people together during the companyís
delaying tactics. He figured out ways to
undermine the companyís position and
get them to bargain. He got the people a
good contract." Aloise said.
The contract provides for almost a year
of retroactivity in wage increases,
improvements in job bidding, job protection,
and recall language. The contract
also included future wage increases and
dealt with caps on future increases to
health and welfare premiums.