By Lisa Barron
Some 160 health and pension plan
customer service representatives and support staff have voted to authorize a strike against the Associated Third Party Administrators (ATPA), located in Alameda, California, and Contra Costa County, unless the company offers a viable union pension plan, the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) announced Wednesday.
The employees taking the strike action are members of Local Unions 29 and 3 of the OPEIU, AFL-CIO.
“At the request of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services, the unions and APTA will be returning to the bargaining table,” said Local 29 President/Business Manager Tamara Rubyn.
“If the company refuses to offer a viable pension plan for the Local 29 members and continues to offer a meaningless 25 cent contribution to a 401(k)
or other plan, we will have no choice but to exercise our right to strike.”
Members currently have a $3.40 an hour contribution to the pension plan.
“OPEIU has represented these employees for decades,” said Local 3 Secretary-Treasurer/Business Manager Natalie Naylor. “We hope ATPA will realize its employees are prepared to strike before they will see the loss of their pension plan, and instead will come back to the table with a proposal that is fair to both sides.”
Contract negotiations have been going on since June 30, 2013. Additional OPEIU local unions represent employees at ATPA, including Local 11 in Portland, Oregon, and Local 537 in Southern California, the only group to have settled its contract with ATPA.
The OPEIU represents more than 104,000 employees and independent contractors in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada.
Originally published on BenefitsPro.com