For another three years, nearly 140 men and women working for VSE Corporation at Little Rock AFB under Local 463 will have a strong machinist contract to give them a voice on the job and good benefits for themselves and their families.
“For the working-class heroes who take care of the C130J Super Hercules aircraft used by the USAF, this is a good, solid IAM contract negotiated and ratified by the members at Little Rock AFB. It’s the type of contract I want our members to experience at military bases across North America,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Rickey Wallace. “The machinists who take care of the brave men and women in all the branches of our military deserve fair compensation for the work they do and the service they provide, as well as some assurances that someone is looking out for their bottom line. That’s our job – to make sure the voice of workers is being heard.”
With this ratification, wages for Tool/Parts positions will increase by 9.5 percent in the first year, while the Mechanic I group will receive a 5 percent increase and Mechanic II and III will obtain percent. In the next two years, all classifications will gain at least percent more.
Retirement options were also strengthened with employees being able to contribute the maximum allowable by the IRS to the 401K, which VSE will match 100 percent for the first 3 percent contributed. But it wasn’t just wages and financial benefits that were reinforced in this contract. The negotiations team made sure the voice of VSE members was heard at the table when it came to health and welfare benefits as well.
“A good union contract is so much more than just wages and that is evident in this ratification,” said Southern Territory Grand Lodge Representative Valerie Rodriguez. “This group was able to gain financial increases for health and welfare, including lead differential and shift premium pay, which ultimately takes care of them and their families. And increases in paid time off, which is something that doesn’t come with a price tag. You absolutely can’t put a dollar amount on more time to spend with loved ones. Those are the sort of items that this machinist contract brings home.”
“I am so proud of the work done by this negotiating committee. Not once did they forget who they were representing or what was at stake,” explained District W2 Assistant Directing Business Representative Melone Irvin. “Not just for this maintenance group, but for all workers who are behind-the-scenes taking care of our military men and women. I’m excited for the IAM members who will reap the benefits of this persuasive collective bargaining agreement.”