IAM Scores Organizing Win for 1,700 in Missouri

Workers at the Alliant Techsystems (ATK) Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence, MO, hold a victory party after voting to join the IAM. The new 1,730 workers serve as the Defense Department’s primary source for military 5.56 mm, 7.62 mm and .50-caliber rifle ammunition.

Workers at the Independence, MO plant that serves as the Defense Department’s primary source for military 5.56 mm, 7.62 mm and .50-caliber rifle ammunition voted recently to become the newest members of the IAM in Kansas City, MO.

The 1,730 employees at Alliant Techsystems (ATK) Lake City Army Ammunition Plant (LCAAP) stuck together in the face of a hostile anti-union effort by the company and a government shutdown which delayed their election by two weeks.

Key issues in the organizing effort included outsourcing, a draconian management style and a refusal by the company to honor seniority. In addition to a pension freeze and cuts to the 401(k) program, the majority of employees at ATK had not seen a raise in two years.

“Numerous attempts have been made to organize this facility over the past 72 years,” said Midwest Territory GVP Phil Gruber. “It’s a testament to the determination of these employees that they overcame every obstacle and succeeded where many others came up short.”

The successful IAM campaign featured traditional employee meetings, house calls by volunteers and hand billing, as well as a social media component that included emails, text messages and phone banking.

“Congratulations to everyone involved in this campaign, especially the workers at ATK,” said IAM Headquarters GVP Bob Martinez. “They wanted dignity, respect and a voice on the job, and they recognized the best way to get there was with an IAM contract. The Machinists Union is proud to stand with the workers at ATK and help them secure the respect and the representation they deserve.”

For more on the ATK victory, visit iam4atkvictory.blogspot.com.