Indiana Brylane Workers Ratify Contract

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Employees at Brylane's fulfillment centers in Indianapolis and Plainfield, IN, ratified an initial collective bargaining agreement May 10 that the company and the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees had reached earlier in the day.


The three-year agreement includes a wage increase of about 9 percent during the term of the deal as well as what UNITE described as "a strong benefit package."


Noel Beasley, UNITE international vice president, said the deal was ratified by a 4-to-1 margin out of 800 workers voting.


He would not comment when asked to specify the wage increases on a year-by-year basis.


Beasley said the benefits package includes two additional holidays -- Presidents Day and Good Friday -- a defined-benefit pension plan to be paid for by Brylane, no increase in employee contribution toward health insurance premiums during the three years (employees now pay 15 percent of the cost of their plans) and improvements in health and safety issues.


"There will be a bilateral management/union health and safety committee with regular monthly meetings and joint investigations of illnesses and accidents," he said. "We anticipate that the joint committee will deal with the issues effectively."


About 80 percent of the affected workers are in Indianapolis while 20 percent are at the Plainfield facility. The majority of the work is "pick-and-pack, shipping and receiving."


Workers voted to join UNITE in January.


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