A.Y. McDonald factory, maintenance workers ratify agreement to end strike

Factory and maintenance workers at Dubuque-based A.Y. McDonald Mfg. Co. voted to ratify a collective bargaining agreement Thursday, ending a strike that began last week.

A press release from the company states that Local Lodge 1238 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers voted Thursday to ratify an agreement reached Wednesday following two additional negotiation sessions held this week.

Factory and maintenance workers in Dubuque had gone on strike June 1 after union representation and company officials failed to reach a collective bargaining agreement by a May 31 deadline.

A.Y. McDonald CEO Rob McDonald said in the release that company officials were pleased to reach an agreement.

“The package ratified (Thursday) represents the same total economic value to what was offered before the union decided to strike last week,” McDonald said in the release. “Money was simply reallocated to address concerns of certain groups of the membership.”

In a previous statement released the day the strike began, McDonald said the company’s final offer before the May 31 deadline included pay increases for the “vast majority” of IAM workers of 25% to 45% over a five-year period, along with first-year increases of 7% to 15%, depending on the position.

As the strike began, union representatives said they sought general wage increases, but also additional changes to A.Y. McDonald’s two-tier wage system that created two different pay structures for existing and future employees. They also wanted to ensure protection of union jobs at a new brass foundry A.Y. McDonald plans to build near Dickeyville, Wis.

IAM business representative Joe Allen said he could not comment on the end of the strike and referred comments to the international union’s headquarters. The listed press contact could not immediately be reached for comment.

A.Y. McDonald is a manufacturing business that makes water pumps, plumbing and natural gas products. It is headquartered in Dubuque, with additional manufacturing locations in Albia, Iowa, and Elizabethton, Tenn.

The strike involved 134 A.Y. McDonald factory and maintenance workers from the Dubuque location. A.Y. McDonald officials previously declined to say how many people worked at the Dubuque facility but said the strikers represented a “small percentage” of their workforce

A business listing on the Greater Dubuque Development Corp. website says the company has 425 full-time employees, though the Telegraph Herald could not independently verify that number.

A.Y. McDonald employees represented by the United Steel Workers union, which includes foundry and shipping workers, were unaffected by the strike.

In Thursday’s press release, McDonald said the strike marked the first at the company in 32 years and was its “shortest strike ever.”

“In that regard, we will take the good with the bad and get back to work serving our customers,” he said in the release.

In the email that included the release, A.Y. McDonald officials said they had no additional comments at this time.