Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Illinois Chemical Workers Ratify Four-Year Teamster Contract
Local 179 Negotiates Swift Agreement With North Suburban Stepan

More than 200 members of Teamsters Local 179 overwhelmingly ratified a new four-year agreement with Stepan Company this month.

With negotiations kicking off in March, Teamsters voted to approve the final contract on May 8, nearly two months ahead of schedule. The determination of Local 179 representatives at the bargaining table helped workers secure early ratification bonuses, significant wage increases each year of the agreement, premium pay for 12-hour shifts and improved accidental death and life insurance benefits.

“Local 179 applauds the entire bargaining committee for working swiftly and tirelessly to win a fair contract for Stepan employees,” said Tom Flynn, Local 179 President.

Local 179 Vice President Chris Richter added, “Local representatives worked hard alongside our committee members to secure a good, strong agreement the Teamsters can be proud of.”

While fighting for new wages and better benefits, Local 179 representatives successfully opposed several proposals from management to weaken worker protections. The union refused to agree to a two-tiered wage scale for new employees and rejected a reduction in wages during employee training periods. The Teamsters also preserved the current coverage of health insurance premiums guaranteed by the Northfield-based chemical company.

Teamsters Local 179 is an affiliate of Teamsters Joint Council 25, America's premier labor union for Chicago, Illinois and northwest Indiana.

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