Firestone workers ratify agreement to take them through plant closure
On October 4, 2017, Firestone Textiles in Woodstock announced to its employees that it intends to close the facility by the end of 2018.
This announcement took place only a few days after the Local Union had conducted a proposal meeting for the anticipated round of bargaining ahead.
As a result of the announced closure, Members at the plant made new priorities clear and the parties agreed to meet. The Members’ negotiating committee and the company arrived at a renewal agreement that will see the workers through the closure of the facility.
On October 25, the Members at Firestone ratified that two-year renewal agreement.
Wages will increase by $1 per hour over the term and employees receive a $500 signing bonus upon ratification. Calculations of severance payments for all employees shall include the $1 per hour increase added to the base rates of pay.
Severance language negotiated previously provides two weeks’ pay per year of service with no minimum or maximum. In addition, many Members at Firestone have significant seniority. As a result, some employees will receive in excess of 80 weeks’ severance plus any incentives that apply.
An incentive program introduced will pay employees $500 each per quarter if they meet attendance requirements as well as production targets, which is an easily attainable quantity. Finally, any employee who waives their bumping rights at the time of layoff receives a $3,000 payout.
Union Negotiating Committee: Nick Balevski, Brian Holman, Ryan Kirby, and Union Rep Mike Mattioli.