Ausgust 7, 2015
By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel
International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324 agreed to take a 5% pay cut for the next two years in order to help Michigan’s Wayne County overcome a $52 million deficit. The local ratified the four-year contract July 27. The workers, who operate and maintain county boilers and commercial refrigeration units in Detroit and its downriver suburbs, also agreed to the elimination of health care for retirees and raising the retirement age to 62.
The deal “shows that IUOE Local 324 members are committed to being a part of the solution to the problems Wayne County faces,” business representative Tom Scott said in a statement. Gov. Rick Snyder confirmed July 30 that the county, whose annual property-tax revenue has fallen by about $100 million since the 2008 recession, is officially in a state of financial emergency—which could give County Executive Warren Evans leverage to get similar concessions from the nine unions working under expired contracts. Read more