Union, SMC reach tentative deal
A tentative agreement was reached last week between the Stillwater Mining Company and the United Steel Workers International Union regarding a new labor contract.
The tentative agreement was announced by SMC last Thursday morning. United Steelworkers local 11-0001 Union President Scott McGinnis confirmed that the following day, Friday, May 29.
The current contract expired Monday, June 1, but that has been extended one week in order to give union members time to vote on the proposed new contract, according to SMC. That vote was to take place today and tomorrow, June 4 and June 5, but that has been bumped back to June 9 and June 10, according to a news release issued Thursday morning by the SMC.
Although the negotiating committee for the union is “unanimously recommending ratification” union members must vote to ratify, according to SMC.
The tentative agreement affects the Nye mine site and the Columbus processing facility, commonly referred to as the smelter.
The Union and SMC have been in negotiations for months with trouble arising over the launching of an advertising campaign and first quarter profit reports of $23 million coupled with a pay raise for SMC CEO Mike McMullen. Trouble became visual when several wives of miners took to the corner of Pratten Street and Pike Avenue on a regular basis, holding signs that read “If Provoked We Will Strike” and “CEO Gets Raise! Miners Take Payout? Unfair!”
McGinnis has previously said SMC had proposed a cumulative 25 percent cut in pay, incentives, benefits and retirement. SMC Public Affairs Manager John Beaudry had said earlier this month that the “current proposals represent less than 5 percent reduction from the current contract with an opportunity to make that back and more with productivity improvements.”
The terms of the tentative agreement have not been disclosed.