After more than two years of labor negotiations, Wendt and the Iron Workers representing 24 of its 100 employees have reached a labor contract, which was ratified by the membership August 6, 2019.. The Iron Workers Shopmen's Local 576 (Buffalo, N.Y.) was certified as the exclusive collective bargaining representative of a group of Wendt's manufacturing employees in June 2017. The parties met almost 60 times and this contract deal brings to a successful end what has been at times a contentious and drawn out process for both parties. Key in the negotiations for the company was flexibility and preservation of the type of management rights such as subcontracting, that have made it a best in class integrator and supplier of the scrap recycling industry and for the union, job security and excellent pay and benefits. The two-year collective bargaining agreement features increased wage scales, severance benefits, an excellent package of benefits, the right of the company to subcontract at will for legitimate business reasons, utilize management and nonunion members in the performance of manufacturing.
Anthony Rosaci, a business representative for the Iron Workers, who has been at the bargaining table from the commencement of negotiations, stated the union is very pleased with the deal reached on behalf of the employees noting that it was able to preserve benefit levels and increase the pay scales for all job classifications. "We are looking forward to a new beginning with Wendt, both parties fought hard for what they felt were necessary protections and after a period of concentrated talks we were able to strike a balance that led to a positive contract resolution. I am proud of our union and the employees and what we have accomplished through the years, especially in these negotiations. With the company's commitment to this plant, we expect future generations of shopmen to continue this proud tradition."
Tom Wendt stated, "We are very pleased with the contract, and feel that it delivers all of the necessary manufacturing flexibility for which we fought at the bargaining table. When my father founded this company over four decades ago, entrepreneurial leadership was his founding principle. Our ability to be dynamic and utilize all the resources available to provide innovative solutions to our customers is what has set us apart as a world-class operation. The challenge here was to reach a contract that preserves all of the elements of that flexibility while balancing the needs of the unit members. This contract achieves these goals. It took a long time for both parties to find a common solution to objectives that were seemingly at odds with one another. We are looking forward to a new start."