Contract talks between Honeywell and United Steelworkers Local 7-669 entered week two with a tentative agreement on one issue and a pledge by both sides to continue good-faith bargaining.
The current three-year contract expires at midnight Friday. Talks got off to a somewhat rocky start last Monday when the union filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board over the issue of wearing stickers in the workplace. The company later said it deferred to the union's use of stickers to focus on the negotiations.
"Talks between the company and the union have been constructive, professional and productive," said Peter Dalpe, Honeywell spokesman, of the first week. "Both sides presented their opening proposals on the first day of bargaining and have since exchanged proposals and had discussions on a number of individual sections of a new agreement."
John Paul Smith, USW 7-669 spokesman, said, "Throughout the first week of negotiations we have had some productive discussion with the company, but we remain far apart on most issues."
According to Dalpe, on Sunday Honeywell presented the union with details of its benefits proposals, including an health care plan."
Smith said discussions have progressed on some of the processes and work rules, "but we have a long way to go on health insurance and job security."
Both sides are hoping to avoid the kind of dispute that resulted in a 401-day lockout in 2010 when the previous contract expired. A subsequent three-year contract was approved in August 2011.
"The company remains committed to bargaining in good faith and reaching a fair and equitable agreement with the union," Dalpe said.
Smith said, "Going forward the union will remain in bargaining at the agreed upon times ready to reach an agreement fair to our members."
The Honeywell Metropolis Works facility provides services to convert uranium oxide to uranium hexafluoride. The product is then further processed by other service providers into fuel for civilian nuclear power plants.