Machinists ratify two contracts in Spokane

SPOKANE — Members of Machinists Union District Lodge 751 have ratified contracts with two Spokane-area companies, the union reports.

Reports on those new deals, plus a look ahead at the upcoming contract talks with Pexco in Union Gap, are included in the current edition of the Eastern Washington Machinists News, which is now available online.

Machinists working for Penske Truck Rentals in Spokane ratified their four-year agreement in October, after contract talks that involved a total of 65 union members working at nine Penske locations across Washington.

Under the agreement, union workers will receive an additional $3.15 an hour in pension contributions, and agreed to changes in their health care plans that will lower workers’ out-of-pocket costs by more than $22 a week. Wages were frozen in the first year of the deal, however, union workers will get  small raises in the second, third and fourth years of the contract, plus $2,000 net bonuses in each of the first three years.

“Considering the economic conditions today, I think we fared pretty well,” said union Steward Pete Hedemark. And by agreeing to the new health-care plan, the union saved Penske money, he said.

The Spokane Machinists are members of District 751, while those in Western Washington are represented by Machinists District Lodge 160. Representatives from both districts worked on the new contract.

In addition, 18 union Machinists working for Kenworth Sales in Spokane have also ratified a new one-year contract, District 751 reported. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Meanwhile, formal negotiations between District 751 negotiators and management at aerospace supplier Pexco in Union Gap began on Nov. 10. The two sides met during the month, but have agreed not to release details about the talks until they reach an agreement.

District 751 represents more than 100 workers at the plant, which creates plastic parts for various Boeing airplane interiors, as well as for the auto industry.

Also in this edition of the Eastern Washington Machinists News, you can read:

  • A feature on work done by the roughly two-dozen Machinists Union members who work at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory at Hanford;
  • A profile of Machinists Union workers at Cummins Northwest in Spokane and Pendleton; their contracts will be re-negotiated in December;
  • Reports on how members of Local 1951 in Richland took part in a community Halloween celebration, and how District 751 members from Eastern Washington took part in the “One Nation, Working Together” rally in Washington D.C. in October.

Originally formed in 1935 in Seattle to represent hourly workers at Boeing, District 751 now represents roughly 25,500 workers at 42 employers across Washington, Oregon and California, through a network of local lodges that includes Local 86 in Spokane, Local 1123 in Wenatchee and Local 1951 in Richland.

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