NAS Whidbey Machinists ratify first union contract

OAK HARBOR – Machinists Union members who work for Doss Aviation at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station will get wage and pension benefit increases after ratifying their first union contract.

DOSSWhibdey1The Machinists at Doss approved the three-year agreement on June 9 with an 88 percent yes vote.

The contract covers roughly two dozen Doss employees who work as military aircraft refueling specialists at NAS Whidbey. The workers had voted in December 2013 to join Machinists Union District Lodge 751, which is based in Seattle.

Under their new collective bargaining agreement, the Doss-Whidbey workers will get:

  • Immediate 3 percent wage increases, with additional 2 percent raises coming on January 1 of 2015, 2016 and 2017, which will push wages up 9 percent over the life of the agreement;
  • Additional pay for workers on second and third shifts, plus additional pay for those who work as trainers or when handling hazardous waste, plus up to $100 a year for all workers for safety shoes;
  • Increasing company contributions to the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers’ National Pension Plan, which covers the workers’ retirements;
  • Increased company spending on a health and welfare benefit, with the option for union members to roll unused health and benefit dollars into a company-sponsored 401(k) retirement account;
  • An agreement with the company to change four part-time workers to full-time workers; and
  • Rules granting a standard 8-hour work day, with specified rest periods before the start of their next shift, plus an agreement by management to provide work schedules two weeks in advance, to help workers plan their lives.

“We were able to win improvements for the workers in terms of pay and benefits,” said Jon Holden, the president of District 751. “Plus now that they have a union contract, they have the advantage of a grievance procedure that will ensure they’re treated fairly on the job.”

The Doss-Whidbey workers are the third group of NAS Whidbey contractors to join District 751 since 2010, joining workers at Delaware Resources Group and L-3 Communications. In all, District 751 now represents nearly 700 civilian employees at NAS Whidbey, Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Fairchild Air Force Base.

“These highly skilled workers play an essential role in protecting America, and we’re proud to have them as part of our union,” Holden said.

Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly workers at the Boeing Co., IAM District 751 now represents more than 32,000 working men and women at 50 employers across Washington, Oregon and California.

To speak to an IAM 751 officer about how to join the Machinists Union, click here.

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