WASHINGTON, DC – This week, Rep. Joe Courtney spoke on the House Floor applauding the recent ratification of the five-year labor contract between General Dynamics Electric Boat and the Metal Trades Council. Union Members of the Metal Trades Council approved the contract by more than a 2-1 to vote.
“Ratification of this robust contract is a five-year ironclad guarantee of economic security for the Electric Boat metal trades workforce, which they richly deserve. It also sends a powerful message to the Navy and Congress, who fund their work, that the Groton waterfront is in for the long haul as our nation grows its undersea fleet, a decades-long enterprise. Kudos to Peter Baker and the Metal Trades Council team, and Shawn Coyne from Electric Boat Human Resources who spent months hammering out the many details of this historic contract,” said U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-02).
The MTC represents more than 3,400 employees in the skilled trades at the company’s Groton shipyard which includes welders, electricians, machinists, pipefitters, laborers, painters, transportation services and administrative support.
The agreement provides for significant increases in compensation and benefits, including:
General wage increases for all MTC members totaling 21.4% over the term of the contract.
Retention and sign on bonuses with the opportunity to earn up to $6,000.
A one-time, $2,500 contribution to the employee’s 401k retirement savings account.
Continuation of a comprehensive, competitive medical plan with modest premium and deductible increases.
Increases to vacation days and paid sick time for most members.
“Although his tenure as International President of the United Steelworkers was short, Tom Conway’s impact on the lives of his members was immeasurable,” said MTD President James Hart. “The Department sends its deepest condolences to his family and friends.”
Conway was elected as the union’s president in 2019. He was known for his quick wit, formidable bargaining skills and unwavering devotion to workers and their families.
“His tenacity and passion for the labor movement will be greatly missed,” said Hart.
McCall to Succeed Conway
On September 26, the United Steelworkers (USW) International Executive Board appointed David McCall to fulfill the remainder of Tom Conway’s term as International President.
“We are all mourning a great loss,” McCall said, “but even in our sadness, our union is strong, thanks in large part to Tom’s leadership and vision. Now, we’ll move forward the only way we can: together. Together, we’ll honor Tom’s legacy, as together, we fight for justice and fairness for working families.”
“On behalf of the Metal Trades Department members, officers and staff, we welcome President McCall and look forward to working with him on behalf of our Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers MTC affiliates,” said Hart. “While the circumstances surrounding his rise to the office of the President are sad, we know that he will carry President Conway’s legacy with him as he continues to fight for working families.”
With just hours to spare, the House and Senate passed a bipartisan bill to avert a government shutdown on Saturday night.
The Continuing Resolution keeps the federal government open through mid-November, allowing just 45 days for Republican-led House of Representatives members to draft a spending bill they can all agree on. Pundits agree that this stopgap measure does not mean there won’t be a shutdown in November.
“The Metal Trades Department and its affiliates salute the bipartisan action taken this past Saturday by the US House and Senate to prevent a government shutdown. However, workers can no longer be subject to the anxiety and uncertainty foisted upon them as a result of federal elected officials refusing to prioritize and address the needs of the working families they serve,” said MTD President Jimmy Hart.
“Congress must use the next 40 or so days to do the work of the American people and pass a budget that addresses the needs of working families. Congress Needs To Get To Work!”
The MTD urges all Federal Metal Trades Council members to continue to monitor the progress of negotiations and stand ready to contact Congress.
“Your advocacy helped avert the shutdown, but we cannot rest on our laurels. There is too much at stake.”