May 16, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Spokane, Wash – More than 400 union workers at the Triumph Composites Systems aircraft-parts plant went on strike May 11.
The walkout came less than two days after International Association of Machinists Lodge 751 members voted by 94% to reject a contract proposal that preserved a two-tier wage system and the elimination of pensions for recently hired workers. “They eliminated it for anybody hired after the last contract and essentially that just means you have your have and your have-nots. These young people deserve the opportunity to have a pension just like everybody else," said Jerry Purser, picketing outside the plant in the Spokane suburb of Airway Heights. Management at the plant, which builds environmental control system ducts, floor panels, and other components for Boeing, Airbus and Bombardier, is using strikebreakers to continue work. “Those are our jobs and they are trying to fill them with substandard workers," said striker Linda Louie, who was worked at the plant for 25 years and says poorly made aircraft components could endanger passengers. Read more