Local 933 workers at Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, AZ voted on Sunday to reject the company’s contract proposal. As a result of the vote, nearly two thousand IAM-represented workers went on strike at one minute after midnight Sunday night. The IAM negotiating committee had recommended rejection of the proposal due to several issues; including the company’s failure to properly address employee medical costs and the company’s insistence that all future workers would be excluded from the current pension plan, despite the fact that the pension plan is heavily over-funded.
A very large and determined group of the workers met at the Tucson Convention Center and voted by over 90 percent to reject the proposal and go on strike. “We tried to get an agreement with Raytheon; but this company insisted on reducing the standard of living for the families of these workers even as they announce tremendous profits from their defense contracts,” said Bobby Martinez, Directing Business Representative for IAM Local 933. “Many of our members haven’t had a raise in six years; the families of this area deserve better; it just isn’t fair. We are disappointed that Raytheon would choose to reap huge profits from the war effort, and then attack their workers.”
Raytheon recently announced a 41 percent increase in earnings per share and is poised to continue this level of earnings as one of the nation’s largest defense contractors.