Members of IAM District Lodge 751 in Seattle, WA working for Hytek Finishes voted to accept a revised contract offer after rejecting a previous offer and voting to authorize a strike. The vote caps a 17-month effort by Hytek employees to win IAM representation and a first contract. The new contract provides wage increases each year, bonuses, increased vacation, a skill-based system that provides an avenue for additional raises and immediate upgrades for dozens of workers.
“Hytek workers showed uncommon bravery and determination throughout this struggle,” said Western Territory Grand Lodge Representative Kevin Cummings. “They deserve the praise of all their brothers and sisters in the labor movement for their commitment to making their workplace more just for their co-workers and future generations.”
Hytek is a “first tier” Boeing supplier and about 180 hourly workers at Hytek in Kent, WA do metal coating and finishing on aircraft parts for all of Boeing’s widebody jets. Hytek customers alos include BAE, Bell Helicopters, Gulfstream, Triumph Aerostructures and United Technologies. Hytek workers also supply parts for the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The Hytek workers voted to join the IAM in August 2011, and talks on a first contract started that October. Management’s unwillingness to negotiate fairly dragged out negotiations and even resulted in a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board that Hytek committed eight violations of the Labor Relations Act. The effort to win a first contract included demonstrations at the plant and support from area IAM and other union members.
“This has been a hard fight for our members at Hytek, but they have stood strong throughout,” said Western Territory General Vice President Gary Allen. “Congratulations and this shows that the IAM will stand strong with workers who want to improve their lives.”