Boron, Calif., Dec. 16, 2015 – The collective bargaining agreement extension ratified on December 15, 2015 by International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 30 represented employees provides a good foundation for Rio Tinto Borates (RTB) to create an even stronger business in the years ahead.
“This agreement reached 5 months prior to CBA expiration date of May 2016 enables us to further strengthen our business and continue investing in our Kern County-based mining operations in Boron,” said Isabelle Brassard, General Manager for California Operations. “At the same time, the agreement provides a solid foundation to be more globally competitive and maintain our position as the world’s leader in Borate minerals and refined products.”
The expertise of its workforce is a primary reason Rio Tinto Borates has had business success for more than 100 years.
“Our employees are our most important asset to delivering quality product to our customers. I am pleased we found common ground with ILWU to add value to our business, employees, customers and stakeholders,” Brassard said.
Terms of the new agreement include:
- A 5-year extension on the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that was set to expire in May 2016. The agreement now extends through May of 2021.
- A 2.5% annual wage increase for hourly employees, beginning in May 2016.
- Medical benefits aligned with industry and national trends for American workers that take effect in January 2017
The agreement covers more than 500 ILWU-represented employees who work at RTM’s Boron, California operations. At the ILWU Local 30 meeting on the December 15, about 65% voted in favor of the proposal.
ILWU Local 30 President Dave Liebengood said he appreciated the consistent leadership of Boron Operations General Manager Isabelle Brassard to keep both sides at the table until an agreement was reached.
“ILWUs Local 30 and its members appreciate that the company and union were able to move forward with a 5-year contract extension that offered decent wage increases and benefits package each year of the contract,” Liebengood said.
“A big plus is that the company and union agreed to continue with all language from the 2010 contract through the extension period ending in May 2021,” Liebengood said. “Our goal at the union is to make sure our company remains a world-class competitor in selling borates. In return, this keeps our members (employees) working full time, helping to support jobs in the local economy.”
About Rio Tinto Borates
Part of Rio Tinto Group, Rio Tinto Borates supplies about 30 percent of the world's refined borates – a critical ingredient in hundreds of products including glass, fiberglass, ceramics, fertilizers, wood preservatives and detergents – from its operation in California's Mojave Desert, one of the richest borate deposits on earth.