NAS Whidbey workers vote to join Machinists Union

OAK HARBOR – A group of workers who maintain P-3 Orion simulators at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station has voted to join the Machinists Union.

Whidbey NAS2The hourly workers at Delaware Resource Group at NAS Whidbey voted unanimously on May 4 to join Machinists Union District Lodge 751, which is based in Seattle.

Members of the group had tried on their own for several years to improve their pay and working conditions, without success, said Jesse Cote, who leads District 751’s organizing department.

“They learned through that experience that the Machinists Union is the way to go for professional representation,” he said.

Cote said the union is making arrangements with DRG management to start negotiations for a first contract, and working with the workers to formulate proposals that adequately address their needs.

The 16 DRG employees maintain the simulators that U.S. Navy crews use while training on P-3 submarine-hunting aircraft.

The DRG employees join a growing number of civilian contract workers at NAS Whidbey represented by the Machinists Union. In 2010, nearly 250 defense workers who maintain EA-6B Prowlers and EA-18G Growlers for the Navy voted to join District 751. Those workers now are employed by L-3 Communications.

District 751 now represents more than 700 defense workers employed by civilian contractors at NAS Whidbey, Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Fairchild Air Force Base.

“We’re proud to have the DRG technicians as part of our union,” said District 751 President Tom Wroblewski. “They are specialists who do work that’s essential to maintaining America’s might, and they deserve the kind of pay and benefits that a union contract can bring.”

Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly employees at the Boeing Co., District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers now represents more than 33,000 working men and women at 49 employers across Washington, Oregon and California.

To talk to a District 751 officer about how a union contract could benefit you, click here.

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  1. […] A story about technicians at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station who have voted to join District 751; […]

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