The Swedwood management in Danville, Virigina and the Machinists reached their first tentative agreement. The agreement which addresses the issue of improving safety creates a joint labor management safety team. The experience with joint labor management safety teams where they are required by law is impressive. By working together the union and the company are sending a strong signal to everyone that safety is important and that partnership is the best method to achieve a safe work site.
Tentative agreements (TA’s) eventually become articles in a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) once the CBA is finalized and voted on by union members.
According to Bill Street, Director of the Woodworkers Department of the IAM, “This is an extremely positive sign for a number of reasons. First by agreeing to partner on such a critical issue as safety it sends the message that partnership may be possible on other areas as well. Second, since the Commonwealth of Virginia does not require joint safety committees the fact that the first TA establishes a standard above the legal minimums appears to be a sign that both the Union and Swedwood Danville are willing to establish a higher level than the law in their joint efforts to make Swedwood Danville the best employer in Virginia. Partnership is essential for any organization to be world class. This TA may be the first step towards making Swedwood Danville a world class organization.”
Bargaining is continuing this week with discussions on due process rights and progressive discipline for workers.