WWW Class Prepares Aerojet Rocketdyne Employees for Upcoming Negotiations

IAM members at Aerojet Rocketdyne attended a week-long class at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Training Center to prepare for upcoming contract negotiations with the company.

IAM District 725 and affiliated Local 946 members prepared for upcoming negotiations with Aerojet Rocketdyne by developing a multifaceted strategic plan at the William W. Winpisinger (WWW) Education and Training Center in Southern Maryland. The current contract is scheduled to expire June 16, 2014.

The over 430 IAM members at the rocket and missile propulsion manufacturing company are leaders in the development and manufacturing of solid and liquid aerospace propulsion systems, precision tactical weapons systems and armament systems, and warhead and munitions applications.

“The Winpisinger Center’s week-long Negotiation Preparation course is just what the doctor ordered for the Committee; providing training for drafting contract language, presenting proposals, analyzing the company’s strengths and weaknesses, and identifying a broad array of potential tactics,” said Reggie Bills, Local 946 President and a member of the Negotiating Committee. “We don’t want to strike, we simply want a reasonable contract that protects our benefits and recognizes our contribution to Aerojet Rocketdyne’s success. But if the company tries to take away any of our hard-earned benefits, we want to be ready, and we are. This committee knows very well that the membership is simply sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

Former Grand Lodge CREST Curriculum Coordinator and current Negotiating Committee member Joseph Abshire says the course was an outstanding insight into negotiation preparations.

“The instructors are experienced and knowledgeable, and thoroughly prepared us for the expected and unexpected proceedings that one could encounter in the negotiation process,” said Abshire. “I highly recommend any existing or new negotiations committee to enroll well in advance.” 

The week culminated in a simulated negotiation session to mirror what the committee will face during meetings with the company. WWW Instructor Henry Bagwell played the role of a management negotiator.

“Even the most inexperienced member of any committee that takes this Negotiation Preparation course will gain a sense of competence and energetic enthusiasm,” said District 725 Business Representative David Brewer. “It was a pleasure to watch this committee meld into an even more cohesive and thoroughly prepared team. This renewed passion to defend the rights of those they represent will be well received.

“The newly-elected members of the Committee now have a feel for what it’s like at the table. The Committee developed a plan and specific tactics for these negotiations during our week at the Winpisinger Center, and we are ready to aggressively pursue the issues that matter most to the membership.”

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