TX: Lufkin Industries settles contract with IAM, IBB and GMP

"We have some of the best employees in the state of Texas, and we're looking forward to working together with this contract for the next three years." - Paul Perez, VP Lufkin Industries

http://img524.imageshack.us/img524/4423/gmplogogt5.jpghttp://img505.imageshack.us/img505/5987/machinistsbugvs3.gif http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/2032/ibbwyt9.jpg

The last time they went for a contract, in 2002, there were only 700 union employees at Lufkin Industries, unfortunately there was no room for a bargain, so the workers struck for 13 days over health premiums and retirement benefits. Since then the 106 year old company has expanded widely.

photo of 1969 Lukin Oil Pump, http://picasaweb.google.com/maryhefley4Lufkin Industries[LUFK] is now one of the largest employers in Lufkin, TX., and employs roughly 1800, with about 1200 who are represented by a union 1. Cited as the the 16th. fastest growing company in the energy sector, and 39th. overall by Fortune for the year ending 20072, Lufkin Ind. is a healthy company who's wares include tractor trailer boxes, power transmissions for industrial uses and their most well known item, the giant oil pump3.

As of Friday, Oct. 10th., the union workers and Lufkin Ind. have agreed to a 3 year contract that will carry them all to 2011, according to an anonymous worker the new contract includes an 11% wage increase over the course, unfortunately that will be nullified by a 15% health care increase over the same period, a catch 22 in today's world of free market health insurers.

Taken off the table were the companies initial idea of a 4 day 12 hour per work week, with a 4 day layover till the next work day. The union workers rejected that last Sunday.

"We do have work and plenty of it and that's why the company wants us," the worker said. "I think most people are happy."1

From The Lufkin Daily News, story on 10/10/08:
IAM, Lufkin Industries, GMP, IBB, Machinists, Boilermakers, Glass, Molders, Potters, Contract, Labor, WorkerUnion workers have accepted the new contract offered by Lufkin Industries, ending the possibility of a strike by the employees.

Machinist Business Representative Terry Taylor announced the decision after votes were tallied Thursday evening at the Deep East Texas Council of Labor AFL-CIO building on Old Gobblers Knob Road. All union members will return to work as normal.

Taylor said the members made a three-year agreement with Lufkin Industries that includes improvements in wages and benefits. No specifics were released, but working hours were not mentioned as part of the changes.

Lufkin Industries Vice President Paul Perez said he was pleased with the results.

"Lufkin Industries is very pleased with the show of support demonstrated, and we're anxious to begin working under this three-year contract," Perez said.

Union workers had rejected an initial contract offer from Lufkin Industries on Sunday, but agreed then to continue under the previous agreement for at least another week. The extension was set to expire at midnight Sunday, Oct. 12.

Union workers easily beat that deadline with the approval of the new contract offer.

"This is a strong show of support," Perez said. "We have some of the best employees in the state of Texas, and we're looking forward to working together with this contract for the next three years."
The workers are members of the the International Association of Machinists, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, and the Glass, Molders and Potters Union.

Good luck in Texas, hope that in 2011 we will all be in a better situation, make some money and keep that manufacturing in the USA.

[1] Lufkin Daily News [2] Fortune [3] Wikipedia
worker photo by: Joel Andrews/The Lufkin Daily News | 1969 Lufkin oil rig photo: Oil Field Cartoonist at Picasaweb

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