Members at NAS Whidbey Reap Rewards in First Contract

Seattle Local 751-A members working for defense contractor URS Corp. at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station in Washington State are reaping the rewards of their first IAM contract

This month, the nearly 250 URS workers received a 3 percent wage increase thanks to the agreement ratified in July 2011. It was in December 2010 that the workers voted to join the IAM. They first contacted the IAM in early 2010 seeking a union to help them bring their pay in line with what others in the area were being paid for doing similar work.

In addition to the 3 percent wage increase, workers in five specific job classifications are getting an additional $1 an hour, and will also get $1-an-hour increases in each of the next two years.

“Prior to their union contract, they had no sick-leave benefit,” said District 751 Business Representative Jon Holden, who helped the URS workers negotiate their first contract. But now, along with the pay increases, the workers also began accruing sick leave. Additional benefits, like the pension plan, will kick in Jan. 1. The contract also locked in vacation benefits that URS workers at some non-union locations recently lost.

“The URS workers do a job that’s essential to maintaining America’s might,” said District 751 President Tom Wroblewski. “I’m proud to have them as part of our union.”