In response to job security concerns among IAM members employed in the service contract industry, the IAM recently convened a meeting of ten major service contract companies and an equal number of IAM representatives with members covered under Service Contract Act (SCA) agreements.
“The U.S. government is currently reviewing contracts it maintains with private contractors, and is weighing the prospect of using government employees to perform many of these functions,” said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez, who chaired the meeting. “Our members are concerned that their jobs could be jeopardized by such transitions. Contractors are equally concerned over the prospect of widespread instability throughout the industry.”
The goal of the unprecedented meeting was to give all stakeholders, including workers, their representatives and contractors an opportunity to propose and coordinate strategies that will prevent additional job losses while continuing to support service contract customers, including the Army, Navy, Air Force and others.
The government review of work performed by private contractors follows a March 3, 2009, directive from President Obama that questioned the amount of work that had been outsourced during the Bush administration.
“We are highly sensitive to the concerns of our brothers and sisters in the federal workforce who suffered under the previous administration,” said Martinez. “However, many of those same workers are now employed by private contractors and covered by IAM contracts that provide hard won wages, benefits and pensions.”
The IAM currently represents more than 27,000 workers in the service contract industry under nearly 400 contracts and is widely recognized as the most experienced and sophisticated advocate on behalf of service contract workers.
“It is imperative that we work together to protect our current and future members, in both the public and private sector, and ensure they are never again forced to compete unfairly against one another for the inalienable prize of their very livelihood,” said Martinez.