Machinists members of District 9 returned to work Friday, May 13 after a four-week strike at General Metal Products (GMP) Company in St. Louis.
Mark Conner, directing business representative of District 9, said machinist members working at the plant accepted a new one-year contract that will provide a $0.45 per hour wage increase, payment of healthcare cost increases and two 13-minute breaks, one in the morning and afternoon. The new contract also prevented the General Metals from a wage and benefit tier system for new hires.
“I applaud our members at GMP for standing tough," said Conner. "Although the contract, as usual during these difficult times, isn’t exactly what we had hoped for, it’s a good contract that will keep our members working – and they will see a pay increase with no increase to their healthcare costs.”
Machinists members walked off the job at at 12:01 a.m. April 16, after workers at the plant voted 29-4 to reject the company’s contract offer. They picketed at the plant located at 2880 Delor in St. Louis for four weeks, until the Company agreed to return to negotiations on May 12.
Machinists Union negotiators asked for a three-year contract with wage increases each year. The company wanted for a one-year contract, but said they would consider a three-year contract with raises the first year only.
The company also agreed to take some additional proposals off the table that were voted down by the members.
“We’re happy to have this contract settled,” Conner said. “General Metals is a good union company that has treated our members well. We have never had a strike with them in all the years they’ve been signatory.
GMP Metal Products is a contract manufacturer of quality metal stampings, fabrications and assemblies. The plant employees work includes laser cutting, fabricating, stamping, forming, deep drawing, welding and metal finishing.