JBLM Machinists win better pay, pension, work hours

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD — Machinists Union members working for two Joint Base Lewis-McChord contractors will receive improvements to their pay, hours of work and pension benefits after ratifying a new collective bargaining agreement.

JBLMVote1The Machinists, who are employed by DS2 and M1 Support Services, approved the three-year agreement with a 93 percent yes vote on March 23. This is their second agreement.

The agreement covers more than 250 workers who work on military helicopters at JBLM and workers that provide supply support. DS2 is the prime contractor providing those services to the U.S. Army, while M1 Support Services is the subcontractor.

Under the new agreement, the workers will get:

  • Pay raises of 2 percent in September 2015, 2.5 percent in September 2016 and 3 percent in 2017;
  • Improved premium pay for workers on special assignments, plus two new categories of special-assignment premium pay;
  • New standby pay of $2.50 an hour on weekends, which will be paid in addition to any pay for hours workers spend on the job after being called in to work;
  • An increase in shift differential pay to $1 an hour;
  • Increases in in the companies’ contribution to workers’ pensions effective in 2016 and  2017;
  • Improved language on field duty, overtime, seniority, vacation and bereavement leave;
  • Changes to the job classifications, adding more job security; and
  • Reduced out-of-pocket costs for workers who chose to enroll in the employers’ health care plan, and an increase in the amount the employers pay to workers who opt out of the coverage, both starting in January 2016.

The union’s negotiating team had recommended that the workers accept the proposed agreement.

“Our members had identified pay, pensions, job classifications and health care costs as their top issues,” said Joe Crockett, a business representative with Machinists Union District Lodge 751, who had led the union’s negotiating team. “We were able to make gains in all of these areas.”

District 751 represents some 350 civilian employees at JBLM, who work for seven different contractors providing specialized aviation maintenance and refueling services and flight training.

“The work our members at JBLM do supports U.S. warfighters around the globe who are protecting our country and our way of life,” said IAM 751 President Jon Holden. “We’re proud to have them as part of our union, and proud to help them negotiate for the kinds of benefits that a collective bargaining agreement can bring.”

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 more than 33,000 working men and woman at 51 employers across Washington and California.

Think you’d be better off with a union contract? Click here to talk to an IAM 751 representative about how to join the Machinists Union.

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