Machinists ratify deals with 2 JBLM contractors
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD – Machinists Union members working for two different defense contractors at Joint Base Lewis-McChord have ratified new contracts.
Both three-year deals, with L-3 Link Simulation and AAI Textron Corp., were ratified by wide margins, said officers with Machinists Union District Lodge 751 in Seattle.
It’s the first contract for the new L-3 workers, who train C-17 crew members at JBLM. The AAI workers do maintenance on training simulators at the base.
The L-3 contract:
- Grants “substantial” wage increases in the first year of the contract to get L-3 employees up to the “area wage determination,” which is the market rate of pay for people who do the type of work they do in Western Washington;
- Also gives raises of 3 percent in each of the second and third years of the contract;
- Pays lump sum payments of $7,500 for loadmaster instructors and $750 for pilot instructors;
- Introduces a new 401(k) savings plan with an employer match; and
- Improves sick leave, vacations and bereavement leave.
The AAI contract also secures substantial pay increases in the first year, to bring the workers in line with rates of pay for workers with their skills and abilities.
In addition, the contract:
- Pays all workers a lump sum of $5,000;
- Allows workers to take part in their company’s 401(k) plan with an employer match;
- Improves vacation benefits and grants 40 hours a year for personal leave; and
- Introduces a short-term disability benefit.
The contracts cover roughly 30 workers at the two companies.
The union’s negotiating committee had recommended that workers at both companies vote to accept their contracts.
“District 751 represents a lot of people who work for defense contractors, doing essential work that helps defend America,” said Tom Wroblewski, the union’s district president. “They are experts in their field, and we’re proud to work on their behalf to ensure their pay and benefits are superior.”
Jesse Cote, the District 751 representative on the negotiating teams, said the contracts show that the Machinists Union is able to negotiate good contracts even in bad economic times. He said the deals were possible because the workers stood strong behind their bargaining teams, and he thanked those who served on the teams for their hard work.
Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly workers at the Boeing Co., District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers now represents some 30,500 working men and women at 45 employers across Washington, Oregon and California.
To contact a District 751 officer for information on how a union contract could help you, click here.