Machinists ratify contract with aerospace supplier
Some 74 percent of union members voted in favor of the contract, the union said. The deal covers roughly 130 workers at the plant, which provides plastic components for aircraft interiors as well as parts for the auto industry.
“What we gotwas a step in the right direction,” said Dave Bailey, who is a union steward at the Pexco plant. “To get a contract in this economy that has all added benefits and pluses is a great thing.”
The workers are members of Richland-based Local 1951, which is part of Machinists District Lodge 751 based in Seattle. District 751 also represents hourly workers at the Boeing Co., as well as other Washington state aerospace companies.
Under the terms of the contract, Pexco workers will get raises of 40 cents an hour in each of the first three years, with a 50-cent-an-hour raise in the fourth year. In addition, pay will go up 15 cents an hour for every entry-level job category, shift differentials will increase by 15 cents an hour, and lead pay will increase 15 cents an hour.
The changes, which took affect Dec. 1, mean entry-level pay will range from $11.12 to $21.65 an hour at the plant, depending on each worker’s job category.
The workers gained some job security language in the contract, in that Pexco agreed not to do any subcontracting that results in layoffs of regular workers or prevents the recall of any laid-off workers. The contract also granted workers improvements related to overtime scheduling, personal days, holiday pay and recall rights if there are layoffs.
Healthcare benefit costs will remain the same.
The union’s negotiating committee had recommended that members accept the contract, telling them that it brought “improvements in several areas you identified as important and includes no takeaways.”
This was the second union contract for the Pexco workers, who had joined the Machinists Union in 2007, when the company was called Filtrona. The company was renamed in 2009 by its owners, Saw Mill Capital Partners, a private equity firm.
“Everything went well,” Bailey said, “and I think both sides walked out with where they wanted to go.”
Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly workers at Boeing, Machinists District Lodge 751 now represents 25,500 working men and women at 42 employers across Washington, Oregon and California through a network of local lodges that includes Local 1951 in Richland, Local 86 in Spokane and Local 1123 in Wenatchee.
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