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Machinists End Punch at Rocket-Launch Company

May 26, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.—A strike by about 600 workers at United Launch Alliance ended May 19 when International Association of Machinists members ratified a four-year contract. The workers, who build rockets and do hardware-related work for launches at Cape Canaveral, Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and Decatur, Alabama had walked out May 6 after rejecting the company’s contract offer. “There’s some relief because people are going to be returning to work and know they’ll have a paycheck,” Machinists chief aerospace negotiator Jody Bennett told Florida Today. “There’s still some disappointment in the fact that it took a strike action for the company to make an offer that was acceptable.” The agreement guarantees that employees will get at least 14 days between work-related trips, a key issue for the union, as workers often have to leave their home sites for up to 30 days to support launch operations. It also raises their pay by a total of 9.25%, slightly more than the company’s previous offer, beginning with 1.75% this year and going up to 3% in the fourth year. United Launch is a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin formed in 2006. Read more

May 26, 2018

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