John Kordeleski


W.E. Plant Committee Chair               




W.E./Skilled Trades Update




Sorry for the delay since my last update. As you know things have been pretty crazy, not only at work but at home and just about every place you go. Just when you felt we were getting back to some normalcy then the new Delta variant hits. Hopefully this will all be over soon.

As you are all aware of by now, the company is requiring mandatory testing for employees who are not vaccinated. There are no parts of that policy that the Union agrees with and we have grievances in the system covering the violations, both group and individual. The Forge Plant has their grievance in as well. Once we hear more you will hear more, stay tuned.

Contracting out is still an ongoing issue with 324 contracting out notices as of this writing and we still have over 2 months remaining in the year. Things are getting a little better with the process since Scott Wade took it over but 324 is still way too many. We continue to grieve any violations that occur through late notification, no notification and OT violations. We have specific language in the CBA and hold the company to that language. The unfortunate reasons behind much of the contracting out is lack of manpower. We are so under staffed that even during the week when the company contracts out the contractor brings in more people than we have on that shift and we are fully staffed. I continue to tell the company that there is no longer any incentive for trades to want to work at Howmet. There is no pension only the 401K retirement savings but that is never guaranteed. We are underpaid per the Department of Labor for trades in the greater Cleveland area. We tried addressing this at negotiations but the company wanted nothing to do with it. So why would someone want to come to work at Howmet? Good question, huh?

The apprenticeship program is finally back up and running at full speed again. There are quite a few apprentices that have their 8000 hours but are just in need of the state required hours for schooling. A few will be done this December and the majority at the end of the first semester next year. The company’s position was that if you were not an active employee then you were unable to attend the schooling. We argued differently but it was like talking to the wall. Every time a job came up, we always said there were 16 employees who would be more than happy to work on that job but once again nothing. People may tell you the Union wasn’t doing anything to get all of you back to work and those individuals are wrong and have their own agenda for whatever reason. There is also talk of another Millwright apprenticeship for next year but nothing at this time is finalized. We are hoping that this gets approved sooner than later.

For years now we have been arguing and grieving the contracting out of shipping boxes from the FMS classification. When the COVID hit hard last April 2020, the company decided to cut all OT in the FMS classification to save money. The problem with that was there is language in the CBA covering OT when work is being contracted out. We grieved it and of course it was denied all the way through the 3rd step. As you know contacting out cannot be arbitrated. After discussion with the Bargaining Committee and our International Rep we put the company on notice for 5 day talks in August. We met and had several discussions with the company to try and settle this before beginning 5 day talks. We went back and forth with more that a few proposals and counterproposals and finally settled the issue before the 5 day talks were to happen. That settlement was in the amount of $26,000 to be divided for those FMS who were denied OT and to have the OT opened back up as well. It was unfortunate that is went as far as it did but, in the end, I believe we did well for the membership affected by the violation.

In Solidarity, John Kordeleski