Machinists at Fairchild AFB ratify contract
Pilot instructors and flight simulator technicians at Fairchild Air Force Base will see pay raises of at least 6.69 percent this year, after they and other members of the International Association of Machinists nationwide ratified a new contract with defense contractor FlightSafety Services.
The three-year deal was approved unanimously by the employees at Fairchild. Nationwide, the new deal was approved by more than 90 percent of FlightSafety Service’s employees, who voted at various times at the military bases where they work during April.
The Spokane-area workers are all involved in training U.S. Air Force KC-135 tanker crews based at Fairchild. Their mission has taken on a heightened importance, given the involvement of the U.S. military in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“These workers earned this contract by their performance on the job every day,” said Tom Wroblewski, the president of Machinists Union District Lodge 751 in Seattle. The Fairchild workers are members of Machinists Local 86 in Spokane, which is affiliated with District 751.
The new contract provides raises of 13 percent in the first year for pilot instructors at Fairchild, and between 6.69 and 6.95 percent for simulator technicians, depending on their classifications. All the FlightSafety workers at Fairchild will get raises of 3.75 percent in both the second and third years of the contract.
The contract also improved health care benefits for the workers, and provided them with the right to transfer to other FlightSafety job sites if they are ever laid off at Fairchild.
This is the second union contract for the FlightSafety workers since they joined the Machinists. Their first contract, in 2007, granted workers at Fairchild average raises of $7.04 an hour in the first year.
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