Local 933 retirees at Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, AZ won their long battle for justice, a journey that led to the halls of Congress and numerous courtrooms. In 2004, Raytheon made unilateral changes to the retirees’ healthcare benefits that were spelled out in the IAM/Raytheon agreement. The retirees won numerous court decisions against Raytheon’s actions, but Raytheon kept appealing and delaying justice.
Raytheon’s stalling tactics came to an end in August, 2012 when a federal appeals court denied Raytheon’s petition for rehearing, indicating that the Court would not accept any further petitions, and re-affirmed its and a lower court’s opinion that the Raytheon retirees and their spouses have a vested right to no-cost health insurance until they reach age 65.
The Appeals Court ruling led to a hearing between the retirees and Raytheon that settled two lawsuits and set terms of an agreement. All retirees in the 2006 Alday v. Raytheon case will be reimbursed by Raytheon 100% of the premiums the retirees paid after July 1, 2004 when Raytheon breached the collective bargaining agreements that provided for company-paid healthcare benefits for retirees, their spouses, and dependents. Those in the 2009 Greene v. Raytheon case will receive a percentage of “out-of-pocket” medical costs they incurred after waiving Raytheon healthcare coverage.
“The settlements are an extraordinary vindication of the retirees, and a testament to the strength of the leadership of LL 933 and the determination of the class representatives in upholding the vested rights of the retirees,” said attorney Robert Gregory. “With so much to be lost if Raytheon was not held accountable, it can truly be said here that justice did prevail.”
“Today we finally celebrate justice for our retirees,” said Western Territory GVP Gary Allen. “That we could prevail against such a reprehensible act by a company that abused its power is especially gratifying.”
Local 933 Directing Business Representative James Watson added, “This is yet another great day for Old Pueblo Lodge 933 and our membership. Justice was served to the retirees of LL933. It is now up to us to ensure that Raytheon has learned this lesson; our membership will be treated with the respect they deserve so they and their families can live with dignity, whether they are active or retired employees of the company.”
IAM, Old Pueblo Lodge 933 has represented the hourly workforce at Raytheon Missile Systems/Hughes Aircraft since 1952.