Teamsters Local 1145: Our Origins
The Minneapolis-Honeywell Heating and Regulator Company started in the early part of the twentieth century. It made thermostats and heating controls for homes and businesses. Local 1145 was organized in 1941 by workers at Honeywell and the United Electrical, Radio, & Machine Workers Union (UE). The Local represented all the hourly workers at Honeywell, Inc. in the Minneapolis area. The principles of democracy and shop floor representation that UE established are still present in the daily workings of Local 1145.
In the late 1940s the company changed its name to Honeywell, Inc.
In the early 1950s Local 1145 switched representation to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT). The move was made for two reasons:
1. UE was being red baited by the government (McCarthyism) and was one of nine unions who split from the AFL-CIO.
2. The IBT was a growing union with a $2 million dollar strike fund that could be used as leverage in contract negotiations.
Contract negotiations in the early 1950s resulted in one of the first pension and first healthcare plans in Minnesota.
During the Korean conflict, Honeywell got involved in early radar and navigation systems for the military. This business continued to grow after Korea.
In 1967, Local 1145 had its first strike. It was over increases in wage rate and movement for the lowest labor grades in assembly. It lasted for two weeks.
In the 1960’s the Union steadily increased wages and benefits for its members setting the standard for the metro Minneapolis area.
In the 1960s Honeywell and Local 1145 grew by leaps and bounds. The Local had over 11,000 members due to the space program and the growth of US involvement in Vietnam. This growth was short lived, however, because as the war wound down so did Honeywell and 1145. Business spurted again in the late 1970s and Local 1145 increased to over 8,000 members. Throughout this time Local 1145 concentrated on raising wages and expanding healthcare benefits for it’s members.
Honeywell moved into commercial avionics in the mid 1980s. Their products were soon an important part of Boeing and McDonnell Douglas airplane cockpits. Honeywell also bought Sperry Univac in Phoenix and greatly expanded its aircraft product line.
Throughout the 1980s, Honeywell expanded it’s operations in other parts of the US and Mexico and introduced few new heating and cooling products in the Minneapolis area plants. As old products sunsetted, Local 1145 slowly lost jobs.
In 1991 Honeywell spun off its defense division as Alliant Tech Systems. Teamsters Local 1145 continued to represent ATK’s production and maintenance employees. Relations soured quickly as control of the company moved to an outside group from Hercules Inc. and they shifted jobs to other sites. Local 1145 had to strike ATK three times in the 1990s to maintain their wages and benefits. Each strike lasted between one and two weeks before the company capitulated. By standing strong together we increased wages and pension benefits each time while maintaining 100% medical coverage.
In 1998 Local 1145 struck Honeywell over proposed changes in healthcare benefits. The workers were determined and the picket line held strong. After two weeks the company dropped the healthcare changes to get a settlement. Increased wages and pension benefits were won by concerted membership action.
The 1999 ATK contract increased wages and upped the pension benefit by 22%. It provided job security for the ATK members and also locked in their 100% medical benefits for five years. It also included pre-tax premiums for healthcare that kept out-of-pocket expense from going up. The Union also found a new provider of eye care that expanded benefit limits while saving the company money.
In 2000 Allied Signal Corporation of Morristown, New Jersey bought Honeywell. The new name was Honeywell International.