2008 IAM News Archives

Machinists Ratify Accord with United Launch Alliance

Tue. November 11, 2008

The bargaining committee for IAM members at United Launch Alliance (ULA) facilities in Alabama, Florida and California took part in the WWW Center’s unique Negotiations Preparation Class before achieving a master agreement for nearly 900 members.

Nearly 900 IAM members in five different local lodges in Alabama, Florida and California will benefit from a newly ratified master agreement with United Launch Alliance (ULA), the joint rocket-building and launch venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

The contract covers members of Local 44 in Decatur, AL, Locals 610 and 1163 in Cape Canaveral, FL and Locals 2024 and 2786 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The master agreement was overwhelmingly ratified on Nov. 9 by members in all locations and provides for annual wage increases of five percent, four percent and four percent over the term of the 42-month accord. In addition to improved pay and a long list of benefits, members will receive an $80 pension multiplier and lump sum ratification bonus of $3,000.

A key benefit of the master agreement is the common expiration date for all locations, allowing for a more coordinated approach to future negotiations and giving members and their representatives the leverage and benefits of increased bargaining unit size.

Prior to the formation of the ULA in 2005, IAM members were part of separate bargaining units, negotiating similar but separate agreements with either Boeing or Lockheed. While stand alone agreements can reflect the needs and traditions of an individual location, a master agreement gives large and small units advantages and resources they would not otherwise have.

Before negotiation began, the 23-member IAM-ULA Negotiating Committee took part in a week-long Negotiating Preparations Class held at the Winpisinger Center, where representatives developed strategies and proposals that would be used when face-to-face negotiations began. More than 20 negotiating committees have gone through the Negotiations Prep training at the WWW Center since the program was launched in 2006.

“I would like to thank the staff of the Winpisinger Center for facilitating the initial training and structural development of this very diverse negotiating committee,” said Aerospace Coordinator John Crowdis. “The tools, techniques and training were second to none and a real tribute to what can be achieved when non-traditional methods are necessary.”