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The Suburbanite
  • Howden workers ratify contract

  • A new, three-year contract has been ratified by union members at the Howden North America Inc. plant at New Philadelphia.

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  • A new, three-year contract has been ratified by union members at the Howden North America Inc. plant at New Philadelphia.
    The contract covers through Aug. 31, 2013. The company confirmed Tuesday that members of Local 2737 of the United Steelworkers approved the labor agreement. About 60 of the company’s 125 employees at New Philadelphia are represented by the union.
    Bill Woost, plant operations manager, said, “The company proposed a very fair contract that includes wage increases and annual bonuses, guarantees that employees’ health-care premiums will not increase in 2011, enhances employee eligibility for vacation time, and increases weekly payments for sickness and accident.
    “The contract also provides an incentive bonus for eligible employees retiring during the course of the contract. We are glad that the bargaining unit ratified the contract, and we are looking forward to a continued positive working relationship with the union.”
    Lloyd Carr is the union president for Local 2737-08 and 09, which represents the production, maintenance, office and technical employees.
    “Both sides worked very hard to come to an agreement that was livable,” Carr said. “I would say the feel of the negotiations was ‘let’s both get through this unknown economy and see what’s going to happen.’ We’ll regroup in three years. We are busy at the plant, and nobody is laid off. We’re going to move forward to make the company the best in the corporation.”
    He praised the negotiating committee for an outstanding job and thanked the members of the bargaining unit for “being very understanding” and supportive.
    The previous four-year contract expired Aug. 31, but employees continued working under the old terms for two extensions. The second extension was to expire today.
    HNA, formerly Howden Buffalo Inc., and its predecessor companies, including Joy Mfg., have been operating at New Philadelphia since 1853. The company is one of the major suppliers of fans, rotary heat exchangers, compressors and gas handling equipment throughout the world.

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