Pending ratification by the membership, the IAM has reached a tentative bridging contract agreement with VSE Corporation at the Red River Army Depot in Texarkana, TX.
Since VSE assumed the Red River service contract from its predecessor, AECOM in May, the union had been unable to come to an acceptable agreement with the company. Members rejected two previous company proposals.
The new agreement repairs problems with the health insurance VSE implemented, which was worse coverage than the workers previously had. The agreement provides money for those who go over the yearly maximum from the old insurance.
“Without a Union, these employees would have had no recourse when a new company wants to come in and change their benefits and working conditions,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin. “These IAM members proudly support the mission of our nation’s war fighters and we look forward to building a relationship with VSE, and it’s subcontractors, that’s a win/win/win for the U.S. Army, IAM members, and VSE.”
The IAM and the company have agreed to meet this fall to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement to take effect January 1, 2017. One of the joint goals of the new negotiations will be to provide one blanket health plan to cover VSE and their three subcontractors at the depot. Currently, each has different insurance plans and coverage for its workers.
Until the new contract is negotiated, the previous contract is in effect. During this week’s negotiations, the company and union agreed to an improved 401(k) plan for members, and the company will return to previous pay periods of every two weeks, instead of twice monthly.
Members will vote to ratify the contract Wednesday, July 6th.