Boeing supplier reaches deal with Machinists Union

By Bryan Corliss
February 19, 2019, © Leeham News:
Machinists Union members who work at Cadence Aerospace-Giddens in Everett, WA, voted overwhelmingly to approve a new three-year contract with the company.

Ninety percent of those who voted Monday were in favor of the deal, according to the IAM’s District 751. (IAM 751 typically does not release vote totals in its contract elections, only the percentage voting in favor or against.)

IAM 751 President Jon Holden called the contract a “positive agreement.” The union’s negotiating committee called the deal “one members can be proud of and can continue to build upon into the future.”

Improved pay, contract language

The deal, which was reached during two weeks of talks with Cadence-Giddens management, included:

  • An immediate 4% wage increase, following by a 2.5% raise in 2020 and a 3% raise in 2021;
  • New worker-friendly rules for overtime and holiday pay;
  • Language establishing recall rights and severance pay in cases of layoffs; and
  • Defined company contributions into a new savings plan that’s in addition to existing 401(k)s.

The union’s negotiating committee recommended last week that members accept the deal.

The contract covers roughly 125 hourly workers at two Cadence-Giddens plants in Everett, who supply machined structures, formed sheet metal pieces, subassemblies and parts kits for most Boeing programs.

The Cadence-Giddens workers are members of International Association of Machinists District 751, which is the same district lodge that represents workers at Boeing’s plants in Washington state.

IAM-Collins Aerospace talks

The Cadence-Giddens deal gives IAM 751 some momentum as it continues talks with another Everett-area Boeing supplier, Collins Aerospace, where workers voted to join the union on March 23 of last year.

The two sides are scheduled to meet again with a federal mediator on Feb. 28.

Negotiations toward a first contract there have been more contentious. The 18 workers at the former United Technologies plant – who do final assembly on landing gear for Boeing 737s, 747s and 767s (including KC-46s for the U.S. Air Force) – staged a one-day walk-out in January, to protest what the union called unfair negotiating tactics. The union also has filed several complaints with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging the company has engaged in bad-faith bargaining.

The dynamic in the IAM’s talks with Collins is much different than what we saw at Cadence-Giddens.

For starters, a potential strike by the team that assembles landing gear for 737s – Collins’ biggest customer’s best-selling commercial jet – would be a disaster for the company. That gives the union leverage.

On the other hand, if the two sides are unable to reach an agreement within 12 months from when a union is certified as the bargaining representative for the workers, those workers are free to petition for a vote to de-certify the union. This puts pressure on unions to reach deals quickly – and also gives companies every incentive to drag their feet.

However, this kind of “surface” or bad-faith bargaining is illegal under federal labor law. The NLRB can, and often does, step in to order talks continue beyond the 12-month timeline, without a decertification vote — if it determines that the company spent a whole year trying to run out the clock, rather than bargaining in good faith for an agreement.

The complains filed by the union with the NLRB accuse Collins of doing just that. The NRLB has yet to rule.

A Collins spokeswoman said the company is “committed to continue negotiating with the union in good faith and hopes to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.” IAM 751’s Holden said his team is committed to “negotiate a contract that recognizes the contributions these workers make toward UTC/Collins’ success and reward them for their hard work and skills.”

12 Comments on “Boeing supplier reaches deal with Machinists Union

    • Global Warming
      Jet Streams will improve further. 🙂
      777X in the future may crush the 1000mph barrier.

      • 1000 mph one way. If you flew into the wind, you can probably keep the aircraft in the air with a zero ground speed. 😁

  1. Cadence really took it in the shorts on this one, right? Hello, Cadence management, do you have any negotiating skills, or do you always just roll over and play dead? LOL (Next time, listen to Volbeat’s “A Warrior’s Call” before going in! LOL)

    • considering they hadn’t given their line workers any raises in several years prior to this, it is hard to classify 4% raises in a strong economy as taking it in the shorts….

      more like the workers got basic human dignity.

      • MO: Having been part of the new economy for all too long and being the one that brings the bacon home for the company, I don’t get your call they gook it in the shorts?

        People don’t deserve raises when times are good?

        People don’t deserve raise when times are bad?

        I run 5 major trades competently to top Journey level, I think that is worth something.

        • again, you don’t think the private equity managers are getting gigantic end of year bonuses?
          why so hostile to the workers actually getting paid for the value they bring?
          does the company provide _any_ match on the 401K? do we have any detailed info on what the “extra savings contribution” is? what is the history with pension plans at this company? did the union just claw back some of the benefits that the company took away over the last few years?

          for instance, when my company did away with pensions for new employees, they “replaced” it with a 4% match on contributions and a 4% company contribution (read “extra savings”).. this (including the 10% employee 401k contributions) all added up to about half what the old pension provided, and they didn’t bump base salaries by $1, so new employees got totally hosed compared to guys who started 1 day earlier (who both got the pension and the option of additionally participating in the 401k, albeit with no matching) 2 years later, they dropped the match/company contributions to 3%/3% for anyone hired after that, so those guys got it even worse.

          guess what happened with company stock prices and executive bonuses in that same time period.

          • Yea, workers getting anything threatens those at the top.

            Back when we had a real company to work for, they would match up to 3% I think it was (so long ago I can’t even remember). As broke as we were, we could eek that out knowing it was doubled. One of my only non SS savings is that account.

            Years back I had a chance to buy two pieces of prperoty. One sold when we were flat gook broke and gave us a reeseve. The ohter was an enforced savgin acout, its what aloowed ust o pay down our house. Never made any monye on it but it was untouchable.

            We are lucky, we still don’t have much (yipopeed a house and we can ‘t accdess it).

            A whole lot of others never had the chances I had nor able to manage thourhg some really bad times we had nothing to do with.

            As the guy who did the mortgage said, well the bad news is you guys did not go broke and you are not entitled to any discounts on this.

            The good news is if you have a disaster you have some money in reserves . Swell, punished for being responsible.

            Well a day or reckoning is coming. An entire generation that has been the backbone of the economy is about to drop out retiring as best they can.

            I am among them. Its not going to be golden, but we don’t want nor need a lot. We own the house and with what we have cobbled together we will get by.

            And I am going to laugh at those who squeel the loudest which is the CEO and money types who can’t figure out what went wrong.

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