Striking AMAX Magnesium Corp. workers will return to work Monday following ratification of a new contract late Friday afternoon.
Don Collard, a staff representative for the United Steelworkers of America, Local 8319, said rank and file members voted 185-87 to accept the company's three-year contract offer ending a six-day strike that's been punctuated by rock-throwing and tire slashing.Collard said a federal mediator joined negotiators for both sides Thursday night and early Friday morning in an effort to hammer out a workable agreement to bring to the membership for a vote. "The mediator was able to get some people together who otherwise might not have been able to," he said.
Collard called the contract a "fair and good compromise," although neither side appeared completely happy with the final result.
Among the biggest concessions agreed to during Friday's early morning negotiations were:
AMAX backing off a proposal to reduce 12 hour shifts to 111/2 hour shifts with 30 minute unpaid lunches.
Workers taking a 5 percent wage cut over the length of the agreement. AMAX will sweeten the pot a little in the third year by instituting an employee thrift plan.