Honeywell International told local Teamsters union members that the company could begin locking out employees on Feb. 1 if the two sides don't reach a contract agreement.
Management and the union — representing 634 workers at Honeywell's locations in Golden Valley, Minneapolis and Plymouth — are at a stalemate over current contract negotiations.
In a letter sent to all of its local union employees Monday, the plant managers from all three sites said, "You should know that we have notified the union that if we are unable to reach a final agreement before the current contract expires at 11:59 p.m. on January 31, we may lock out all represented employees and utilize our contingent labor to ensure we continue to meet customer commitments."
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 1145 has been negotiating with Honeywell since Jan. 5. Most of the local employees IBT represents work in the company's aerospace operations.
Honeywell and union leadership reached a tentative agreement on Jan. 17 that included a $4,000 ratification bonus and 14% in pay raises over five years. But the union voted down the contract last week.
"As disappointing as this was," the three plant managers wrote in the memo, "approximately 200 represented employees did not even vote."
Tim Wilcher, secretary/treasurer for the union, is hopeful the matter can be resolved when negotiations resume on Thursday. "We go back into talks shortly."
IBT Local 1145 employees currently make an average wage of $30.22 per hour, not including overtime, according to a Honeywell website about the negotiations.
"Our customers are relying on Honeywell to continue shipping product without interruption or delay caused by a labor dispute. Honeywell is similarly committed to meeting our customers' expectations," Allen Clark, vice president of labor relations, said in a separate memo to union leaders. "As you know, we have made arrangements to bring in a contingent workforce to keep our facilities staffed and operating in the event we were unable to reach a new CBA prior to [deadline]."
A lockout was averted in 2017 when IBT Local 1145 and the company came to a deal.
Honeywell was founded in Minneapolis in 1885 and has a long-standing presence in the Twin Cities. The company was sold to New Jersey-based AlliedSignal in 1999. The company relocated its headquarters to Charlotte, N.C., in 2019.
In 2018, Honeywell had approximately 3,700 employees in Minnesota. The company laid off 90 employees in Golden Valley in early 2020 and, later that year, cut 212 jobs with the closure of its Coon Rapids plant.
The company now has about 1,500 employees in the Twin Cities, a Honeywell spokeswoman said Tuesday.