The bargaining involved in the Sunoco refinery was unusual for its mutual respect, desire to succeed and level of collaboration, participants said. Two lawyers involved said they had never experienced anything like it in decades of bargaining, and a member of the United Steelworkers Local 10-1's bargaining committee said the negotiations represented the highlight of his union participation.
"This is the most respect we've ever been shown by a company," said Bill "Rock" Rachubinski, 50, of Philadelphia,
The effort by the union and the company to keep the Sunoco's South Philadelphia refinery open saved hundreds of jobs, with the tone at the bargaining table set by Sunoco's new leader, Brian MacDonald, according to the stories written by my colleague Andrew Maykuth. (Click here to read his story about the Sunoco-Carlyle deal). But the company had a willing partner in the union. (Click here to read my story about the union's role.)
Rachubinski said he's done just about every kind of bargaining in his 25 years of being a union member, serving some of them on the negotiating team for the United Steelworkers Local 10-1. "I've learned to negotiate win-win. I've negotiated adversarially. I've done offensive bargaining and objective bargaining," he said. "This was a true win-win. The company wins. We win. We are looking forward to working with them."