Aerospace Locals Complete Bargaining Prep at WWW

Members of IAM Local Lodges 639 and 933 gear up for contract negotiations in the Negotiations Preparation for Bargaining Committees course provided at the William Winpisinger Center. Seated: (left to right) Tony Spicer, LL 639; Ray Harper, LL 639; Dan Aguirre, LL 933 and Rich Vargas, LL 933. Standing: (left to right) Mark Love, Southern Territory Grand Lodge Representative; Ron Eldridge, Aerospace Coordinator and Bud Duryea, Western Territory Special Representative.

Getting ready for tough negotiations in the fall, two Aerospace negotiating committees met at the William Winpisinger Center for the Negotiations Preparation for Bargaining Committees class.

The Negotiations Preparation courses are an important part of the training for many committees in the Machinists Union. It’s an intense week of training and planning, culminating in an actual simulation of a real negotiations session, where the “company” and union make and bargain real proposals that may show up in the negotiations.

Local Lodge 639’s contract with Bombardier LearJet in Wichita, KS, expires Oct. 8, and Local Lodge 933’s contract with Raytheon in Tucson, AZ, expires Oct. 28. Working together, both locals learn the issues of the other committees, and they also learn how similar the company demands are, even though a thousand miles separate the two facilities.

“We’re seeing the same issues across our industry,” said Aerospace Coordinator Ron Eldridge, who is coordinating both negotiations for the Aerospace Territory. “Committees are often surprised to find that they’re fighting a coordinated effort between all the companies in the industry. The attacks upon health care, pensions and worker benefits are serious and relentless, and the only way to fight them is for us to be prepared and coordinated, too.”