Full production resumed March 29 at Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering Co. Inc., after union members overwhelmingly ratified a new contract, ending a four-week strike.
The Gloucester, Mass.-based company builds extrusion machinery for making blown and cast film and sheet and foam, as well as bag-making equipment.
On March 26, the International Association of Machinists voted 115-51 to accept a new, three-year contract, said Charles LeBlanc, vice president of IAM Local 2654. The union represents 188 employees in Gloucester, he said.
The strike began after the old contract expired Feb. 27. During the walkout, management personnel assembled machines to meet customer orders. The company said customer support services were maintained.
The key issue was the union's objection to the use of subcontracted work — including using outside companies for some machining work and hiring temporary workers at Battenfeld Gloucester.
LeBlanc said Local 2654 members wanted to retain contract language that protected workers from lost overtime and layoffs as a result of the subcontracting. The union was able to keep that protection, LeBlanc said, but had to give some concessions in return.
The new contract now allows Battenfeld Gloucester to require that union members work as many as 10 hours of overtime per week. Also, the IAM had to drop several grievances against the company.
LeBlanc said IAM members are eager to return to work.
``We need to get back on track,'' he said.
Battenfeld Gloucester President Harold Wrede would not comment on the contract, according to a company spokesman.