160 Georgia Aircraft Techs Vote 2 to 1 for IAM

Workers at L-3 Vertex in Georgia are on their way to negotiating a first contract after voting overwhelmingly for IAM representations.

The Southern Territory continues its winning ways with an important organizing victory at Hunter Army Airfield near Savannah, GA, where 160 Aircraft Maintenance Mechanics working for L-3 Vertex voted by more than two-to-one for IAM representation.

“Our in-plant organizing committee was crucial to this win,” said District 112 Organizer Rich Harris. “I want to thank in-plant team members Calvin Perry and Derrick Sweetland for their work. Special thanks go out to Eddie Armstrong, a former IAM member, who took the lead in organizing his fellow workers at Hunter.”

With the ceremonial exchange of proposals, negotiations got underway for more than 900 recently organized workers in Corpus Christi, TX.

“The biggest issue for the workers at L-3 was respect,” said Harris. “They wanted to be treated like the professionals they are. The cost of health care and wages were also big issues. They hadn’t had a raise in several years because the Area Wage Determination (AWD) didn’t move.”

Meanwhile, the recently-organized units at Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) are moving quickly toward a first contract following an exchange of proposals at the opening of negotiations with L-3 in Corpus Christi. The two separate units, the Direct (shop) workers and Indirect (office) workers, are negotiating their contracts in tandem with Aerospace Coordinator Jody Bennett coordinating the negotiations for the IAM.

“Winning an organizing campaign is always a special moment, but exchanging proposals with the company and negotiating that first agreement is where members experience the concrete benefits of their vote,” said Southern Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin. “It’s a measure of respect to sit across the bargaining table with the company and be treated as equals with the right and authority to speak for your co-workers. It’s a right that simply doesn’t exist without union representation.”