Machinists at JBLM to vote on three-year contract

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD — Machinists Union members who work for a defense contractor at Joint Base Lewis-McChord will vote on a proposed contract Thursday.

The union announced that it has reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract with URS Corp.

The deal “shows improvements in all areas identified as important by you,” the Machinists Union bargaining team said in a message to the URS workers. “Your negotiating committee recommends you accept this proposal.”

This would be the first union contract for the more than 350 URS employees at JBLM. They voted in December to join Machinists Union District Lodge 751, and began negotiations with the company in June.

Under the proposed agreement, the Machinists at URS would receive:

  • Wage increases of 2.75 percent in the first year, 3 percent in the second year and 3.25 percent in the third year;
  • Additional 25-cent-an-hour raises in both the second and third years of the contract for  workers in seven job categories, plus pay for everyone working nights and weekends and performing particularly difficult or hazardous tasks also would go up;
  • Two additional paid vacation days in 2013, a third added vacation day in 2014, plus two paid administrative leave days;
  • An increase in cash payments for workers who opt out of company-provided health insurance, while those who stay in the company plan would not pay any additional cost; and
  • A new pension benefit, provided through the International Association of Machinists National Pension Fund.

In 2011, more than 220 workers with URS at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station ratified their first Machinists Union contract, which similarly granted them wage increases, a pension and increases in paid leave time.

“We’ve got a lot of union members at JBLM and Whidbey who do work that’s essential for maintaining America’s might,” said District 751 President Tom Wroblewski. “They deserve pay and benefits that match their skills and dedication, and union contracts can help them achieve that.”

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 32,000 working men and women at 48 employers across Washington, Oregon and California. In 2011, District 751 members ratified a four-year contract extension with Boeing that ensured the 737 MAX will be built in Puget Sound.

To talk with a District 751 officer about how a union contract can help you, click here.


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