Members of Minnesota IAM Locals W33 and 760 recently ratified a new contract with Packaging Corporation of America (PCA). The negotiating committee was able to secure many increases in the new 6-year agreement with the paper manufacturer.

The contract includes a 2.5 percent wage increase for each of the six years, an insurance package that saves employees with family coverage over $2,000 a year, increased timeframe for short term disability benefits, increased payment for long term disability and improvements in contract language pertaining to arbitration over wages for a new position, union representation, and vacation increments.

“I am extremely proud of the effort put in by these two bargaining committees,” said District 5 Business Representative Joe Schwartz. “They spent a great amount of time preparing for negotiations by analyzing each article of the contact individually, and addressing the issues of their members from the individual surveys. This commitment and their will to stand strong for their membership allowed them to achieve gains in this contract like they have never seen before.”

“It was a long-fought negotiation but in the end, I believe that the long hours and hard work put in by this Committee and BR Schwartz made the difference in the gains that were made,” said District 5 Directing Business Representative Jeremy Pearson. “The two local lodges stood together to get proposals they wanted and to fight off those that would hurt them. They took the fight to the Company and truly embodied the spirit of the “Fighting Machinists.”

“Congratulations to the members of Local Lodges W33 and 760 at PCA,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “Together you’ve achieved what many years of previous rounds of negotiations were unsuccessful at achieving. Out of 16 contract changes, 15 were in favor of the union. Thank you to IAM District 5 Business Representative Joe Schwartz on a job well done, along with IAM District 5 Directing Business Representative Jeremy Pearson and Midwest Territory Grand Lodge Representative Shannon Stucker for their assistance with these negotiations. This contract epitomizes the importance of having a strong team and solidarity when the time comes to fight for what you deserve.”

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