Labor negotiations are under way among Kennecott Corp. and 17 union locals, and representatives for both sides have expressed hope that a master contract and 17 supplemental contracts can be finished by July 1.
The current three-year contract does not expire until Sept. 1.However, labor officials in particular are eager to return to July 1, which is the date that traditionally had marked the expiration date of labor agreements.
The company and the 17 local unions representing about 1,700 workers have embarked on supplemental bargaining, which is discussion of issues that affect specific groups of workers. So far proposals have been laid on the table, but no real negotiating has begun.
The tentative negotiation calendar calls for the supplemental talks to end June 5. Then discussion will begin June 10 on language in the master contract that affects all 17 locals, as well as discussion about wages and benefits. June 30 is the target date for a final agreement.
In effect, the unions and company are negotiating 18 labor contracts - one master agreement that covers issues involving all represented employees and 17 supplemental contracts that affect specific unions.
Unlike previous years, all negotiations will take place in Salt Lake City.
Both Kennecott and union representatives have announced that they will not talk about specific matters or negotiate in public - but both sides say they will go public if the need arises.