|Nearly 550 IAM members, along with nearly 700 members from nine other unions welcome the call to re-start negotiations at Pantex in Amarillo, TX.|
The IAM welcomed news this week that Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services (FMCS) Director Allison Beck is calling all sides back to the bargaining table on September 22 in an effort to resolve the dispute that led to a strike at the Pantex nuclear weapons facility in Amarillo, TX.
The strike at Pantex, which began on August 28, pits the IAM and nine member unions of the Amarillo Metal Trades Council (MTC) against Consolidated Nuclear Security (CAN), a U.S. Department of Energy contractor at the Pantex site.
“We are cautiously optimistic that with the help of federal mediators, we can come to an agreement that is fair and equitable, and end this strike as quickly as possible,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin. “These workers provide an invaluable service to our national security, and it is imperative the Company and DOE present an offer that is fair to the workers.”
The 1,200 workers at Pantex are responsible for the nuclear weapons life extension programs – weapons dismantlement; development, testing and fabrication of high explosives components; and storage and surveillance of plutonium pits. This is the only facility in the U.S. responsible for the assembly, disassembly and replenishment of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile.
The IAM represents about 550 members on strike at Pantex. Other unions who are a part of the Amarillo Metal Trades Council include: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE); United Association (UA); International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers (IBB); Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU); Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART); International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT); and the International Association of Fire Fighters.