Montana City Workers Bargain First Contract
November 2005 IBEW Journal
Nearly three years after a majority of workers at Helena, Montana’s, municipal water treatment plant signed IBEW authorization cards, they finally have their first ratified contract.
Now seven workers have the protection of a collective bargaining agreement and a means to pursue workplace safety improvements, said Helena Local 233 Organizer Keith Allen.
The bargaining process with the city that voluntarily recognized IBEW Local 233 was slowed by the filing of an unfair labor practice charge related to pay for emergency call-outs, which the IBEW eventually won.
Although contract negotiations had been slow for years, in the meantime the local was making progress on the political front. Forging closer ties with the mayor and the city commissioners, Local 233 is hoping for a change in city policy that will require the municipality to automatically recognize a union if it can show that 50 percent plus one worker has signed authorization cards.
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