August 6, 2015
By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Contract workers at the Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania voted July 30 to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. The 485-144 vote won union representation for nearly 1,000 welders, electricians, machinists, and mechanics employed by Bowhead Support Group LLC.
The IAM said that key issues in the year-long organizing campaign included “stagnant wages, reduced benefits and sharp increases to health-care costs” as well as “job bidding and arbitrary layoffs.” “I’ve been a union member at another employer, and I’ve seen first-hand how collective bargaining can stabilize a workplace and give workers a voice on the job,” Terry "T-Bone" Young, a warehouse specialist who’s worked at the facility for 7½ years, said in a union-issued statement. “The only real way to protect our wages, health-care benefits, and seniority rights is with an IAM contract.” Read more