Air Engineering Metal Trades Council Settles Two Week Unfair Labor Practice Strike; Wins Best Primary Base Contract in 70 year history

 Photo:AEMTC Member Randy Brannon shows his union pride on the picket line at Arnold Air Force Base in Tullahoma, Tenn.

In early July, members of the Air Engineering Metal Trades Council (AEMTC) went on an unfair labor practice strike against Bechtel majority owned company, National Aeronautic Solutions/ Chugash LLC, resulting in a two-week work stoppage at the Arnold Air Force Base in Tullahoma, Tennessee.

AEMTC representatives cited bad faith bargaining practices and contempt by the company for the council in its pursuit during negotiations for fair wages, maintenance and control over health care premiums, benefits and dignity in the workplace for this highly skilled workforce as the motivation for the strike.

The company NAS/Chugash had sought to cut employee coverage from 18 months to 12 months, which metal trades workers deemed to be a non-starter for them. Metal Trades Department President Jimmy Hart said, “Strikers specifically took issue with proposed management cuts to employer/employee cost sharing plans and benefits to long term disability insurance plans that workers and their families depend upon.  These are some of the most dangerous jobs in the country and after two-weeks, I am pleased to report that the work stoppage at Arnold Air Force Base has been settled.”

“The new contract, ratified by a three-to-one majority of the council members on Friday, July 16 represents the best ever collective bargaining agreement on a prime base contract at Arnold Air Force Base,” said Hart.

The contract provides the following:


1.     A three-year deal with yearly general wage increases of 3.25%, 3% and 3%.

2.     Removal of a 5% cap on Company/ Union 80/20 shared health care premiums.

3.     Maintenance of existing contract language on important Individual Disability Policy.

4.     Substantially reduced a 40-year wage progression practice by the company which demeaned and exploited the skills of new hires with contract language that provided for a starting pay of 80% of the top tier wage and three years to top out regardless of training and experience.

5.     Provided for sick pay to new employees starting on day one of employment.

6.     Increase caps on employee vacation banks.

7.     Eight language changes in contract that benefit workforce.

8.     No concessions.


The more than 700 workers covered under the agreement will returned to work on Wednesday, July 21.


Scenes from the picket line. Members lined up daily for two weeks outside the Arnold Air Force Base.


Members of the Air Engineering Metal Trades Council toast to the new collective bargaining agreement reached between them and negotiators with National Aerospace Solutions, LLC. The Council membership ratified a new three-year contract with NAS after a two-week strike over unfair labor practices.

REMINDER: Registration is Open for the MTD 71st Convention

71st Convention to Be Held Oct. 13 — Virtual


Registration is now open for delegates and guests for the 71st Convention of the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO. The Convention will be conducted virtually on line and held on October 13, 2021.

Register Now!

The department is working with an outside vendor to plan and execute the Convention, which was forced to move to an online platform due to uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 restrictions.

The MTD Executive Council voted unanimously to conduct the Convention virtually. While it appears as though the country is beginning to open up, the planning time needed to put together an event of this scope, the international travel restrictions for our Canadian delegates, and the uncertainty surrounding state and local restrictions come October, required that the Executive Council make the difficult decision to conduct the Convention virtually and online.

“While ideally, we would like to hold the Convention in person, we just felt that it was in the best interest of our members and guests that we adapt our meeting to an online platform,” explained President Hart. “We look forward to returning to in-person Conferences and meetings with our affiliates and their members in 2022.”

Details and registration information for the Convention can be found here.


In late May, America hit a milestone: More than half of the country’s population had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. But we still have a ways to go. Getting vaccinated is an important tool to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and put an end to the pandemic. We have lost too many co-workers, friends and family members from COVID-19. We must do everything we can to get as many vaccines into the arms of Americans as possible. Before we rush back into enjoying all of the things we used to before the pandemic—the sporting events, the nights out, the dinners at our favorite restaurants—let’s keep building vaccine confidence to make sure we never have to endure a year like 2020 again.

Here are the reasons why it’s important we all get the vaccine:

  • Getting vaccinated helps keep you from getting sick or seriously ill even if you get COVID-19.
  • Getting vaccinated protects your family, friends and co-workers, particularly the most vulnerable people who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Getting vaccinated is the safest way to build protection for you, your loved ones and your entire community.
  • Getting vaccinated produces immunity in your body against the virus.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. The results from clinical trials have shown this to be true. Vaccine use would not be authorized if they weren’t deemed safe.
  • Getting vaccinated does not cause you to get sick with COVID-19. After getting vaccinated, you might have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection.
  • Getting vaccinated is an important tool to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and put an end to the pandemic. Continue to wear a mask when you’re inside public places, stay 6 feet apart from people who don’t live with you and who may not be vaccinated, avoid crowds and wash your hands frequently.
  • Vaccines are effective and important, and are another layer of protection that also includes strong health and safety protections in the workplace that prevent you from being exposed to COVID-19. Workplaces are high-risk settings for COVID-19 exposures because many people breathe in the same air, for long periods of time, and do not know if others are infected with COVID-19.
  • Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is how we make sure we put an end to the pandemic.

OK, now you know why it’s important. Do your part so we can finally leave the pandemic behind.