Union workers at Systems Control have rejected the company's latest contract offer

(Thursday - September 02, 2021 - 10:52) - The union representing workers at Systems Control, one of the area's largest employers, has rejected the latest contract offer put forward by the company.

The vote took place today, and saw workers overwhelmingly reject the proposed pact by a vote of 170 to 108.

The vote took place during the final half hour of the first shift and the first half hour of the second shift. Workers received their regular rate of pay during the voting period.

No one appears certain what comes next. While the pact offered by Systems Control was a last minute attempt to avert a strike, there has been no firm indication that a strike is now imminent. It is possible that the matter could go to binding arbitration, or that negotiations could resume.

The Systems' employees are represented by Local 2221 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, with nearly 300 members.

The contract put forth by Systems called for a 3.8% increase in the first year of the four year pact, with 3.1% during years two and three, and 3.3% in the fourth and final year. Workers pointed out that while this may appear generous on the surface, the way the money is distributed leaves only a portion of this available as cash for the workers.

Several workers have told us that "it's not all about the money."  The union and the company remain far apart on other issues such as use of sub-contractors, disciplinary policies, vacation and personal leave issues, and pay equity.

No word on when a decision on the next step will be forthcoming.

If the IBEW local were to vote to strike, it would likely shut down the entire industrial park complex, including Boss Snowplow and MJ Electric, since union workers traditionally will not cross picket lines of other unions.

NOTE:  An official of the union representing Systems' workers has stated that even if there is a strike, it will have no effect on any other operation in the industrial park complex.  All efforts now are being directed toward averting a strike.

"Systems Control designs and manufactures customized, turnkey systems that protect, transmit and distribute energy from source to grid to consumer."

Systems Control is currently owned by Comvest Partners, which describes itself thusly: 

"Comvest Partners is a private investment firm providing equity and debt capital to middle-market companies across North America. Since its founding in 2000, Comvest has invested over $6.7 billion. Today, Comvest has over $5.4 billion of assets under management. Through our extensive capital resources and broad network of industry relationships, we offer our companies financial sponsorship, critical strategic and operational support, and business development assistance."

Dickinson County has reached out to both Convest Partners and Systems Control for comment, but have thus far received no reply,