Portland Metal Trades Council Ratifies New Contract at Cascade General

The Portland Metal Trades Council (PMTC) ratified a new two-year agreement May 28, 2015, with Cascade General. The vote was 74-41. This was the third contract vote for the 184 workers represented by the PMTC, a coalition of 10 craft unions at the shipyard on Swan Island. The previous contract expired on November 30, 2014.

The new two-year agreement expires Nov. 30, 2016. The contract adds $1.40 per hour to the overall package the first year, and $1.25 per hour the second year.

Workers can choose their preferred medical plan—either a 90-10 deductible plan through Regence Blue Cross or the current Kaiser Permanente plan, or an 80-20 deductible plan with Regence. Workers who choose the 80-20 plan will get a $1.02 an hour increase on their check. Those choosing the 90-10 plan will see a 20-cent per our wage increase.

Workers will also receive a one-time lump sum payment of $300 on December 1, 2015 to offset the cost of health insurance. Workers must log a minimum of 80 hours in a month to qualify for the medical plan.

Columbus Metal Trades Volunteers Help Prevent Electrical Shock Hazards at Florence Marina State Park

Columbus Metal Trades Volunteers Help Prevent Electrical Shock Hazards at Florence Marina State Park

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Columbus MTC volunteer

Nashville, TN – Under the banner of the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) Work Boots on the Ground program, members of the Columbus Metal Trades Council (CMTC) volunteered their time and skills on Saturday, Feb. 21, to inspect six boat docks and 66 boat slips at Florence Marina State Park for electrical hazards and make needed repairs, saving the park $1,500 to $2,000.

James Carr, Curtis Culpepper and Mike Culpepper, members of Electrical Workers Local 613, along with project leader Dave Hall, a member of Sheet Metal Workers Local 85, and Trish Carr looked for exposed wiring, broken receptacle covers, bad ground fault circuit interrupters and other hazards that could put boat slip tenants and park visitors at risk.

Launched in 2010, Work Boots on the Ground brings together union members willing to volunteer their time and expertise to projects that conserve wildlife habitat, educate future generations of sportsmen and women, improve public access to the outdoors or restore America’s parks.  Sitting at the northern end of 45,000-acre Lake Walter F. George in Omaha, GA, Florence Marina State Park is popular among a variety of outdoor enthusiasts, especially anglers and boaters.  As with most state parks, it is managed with a tight budget.

“If there were any exposed wires or other electrical issues, and a renter or guest slipped into the water, it could cause serious bodily injury.  The inspection helps prevent hazards and minimize risks,” said Tracy Yearta, park manager of Florence Marina State Park and Providence Canyon State Park.  “Lots of these projects have to be funded by the department and, with funding the way it is, it’s very critical to bring in outside resources.  Their [CMTC volunteers] skills and leadership ability is exactly what we need.”

Yearta first saw their skills and leadership in action in 2014 when CMTC volunteers cleared a 7-mile hiking trail and restored scenic views at nearby Providence Canyon State Park—Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon.

According to Hall, “Everybody was happy doing it…there was a sense of pride in knowing that we helped out the local community.  The very next month at our meeting, everybody was exciting, smiling, happy.  Some of the same volunteers wanted to do another project.”

This summer and fall, the volunteers will renovate Florence Marina State Park’s waste water treatment facility and install additional campsites at the park.

About the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) is a union-dedicated, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose members hunt, fish, shoot and volunteer their skills for conservation. The USA is uniting the union community through conservation to preserve North America’s outdoor heritage. For more information, visit http://www.unionsportsmen.org/or www.facebook.com/unionsportsmen.

Workers at Aker Philadelphia Shipyard Ratify New Four Year Contract

The Philadelphia Metal Trades Council (PMTC) announced today that workers voted to ratify a new four-year collective bargaining agreement at Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc., the sole operating subsidiary of Aker Philadelphia Shipyard ASA.

“This contract ratification is another example of successful collaboration between union and management, and a clear example of how cooperation keeps organizations moving forward,” said Lou Agre, President of the Philadelphia Metal Trades Council.

The Philadelphia Metal Trades Council is the sole bargaining representative for production and maintenance employees at Aker and consists of ten unions.

PMTC is a Council chartered under the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO. The Metal Trades Department is a trade department of the AFL-CIO. It was chartered in 1908 to coordinate negotiating, organizing and legislative efforts of affiliated metalworking and related crafts and trade unions. Seventeen national and international unions are affiliated with the MTD today. More than 100,000 workers in private industry and federal establishments work under contracts negotiated by MTD Councils. Workers retain membership in their own trade unions.

Union Workers Extend Contract at Ingalls Shipyard

Washington, DC— The unionized workforce at Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., agreed to a three-year contract extension with the Gulf Coast’s largest employer, Ingalls Shipbuilding. The deal ensures guaranteed raises, expanded health care options and twelve paid days off.

“It’s a good contract and the workers voted to ratify overwhelmingly,” said Mike Crawley, president of the Pascagoula Metal Trades Council.

Under the deal, union journeyman-level workers will receive two 60-cent raises, one 75-cent raise, and a $1,250 ratification bonus. Workers classified below journeyman status will receive proportionate raises. The agreement also includes the potential for cost-of-living increases of up to 3 percent in each period of the contract’s extension.

“If all shipyards had the good sense like Ingalls to collaborate with their workers, we’d see a safer, happier workforce, better ships, and more cost savings in the manufacturing process,” said Ron Ault, president of the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, which is the umbrella organization of the unions representing the workers. “Shipbuilding is one of the most dangerous occupations, but the yards we represent maintain a higher standard of safety and health, wages, benefits, and employee engagement. We are proud of our continued collaboration with Ingalls Shipyard.”

The Pascagoula Metal Trades Council has an 80-year history of collective bargaining at this location. The contract at Ingalls sets the wage standard for shipbuilding on the Gulf Coast.

Edmond Hughes, Ingalls’ vice president of human resources and administration, agrees, telling reporters that Ingalls labor-management collaboration is “another example of how we continue to work together to ensure we provide the best opportunities for our shipbuilders and at the same time position our shipyard to compete for future contracts.”

“The Navy should take note of the work that Ingalls is performing. The wages, working conditions, and labor-management relations make it one of the best employers in Mississippi and the entire Gulf Coast,” said Ault. “Navy procurement officers should look to companies that respect their workers, as Ingalls does, when they are awarding shipbuilding contracts.”

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The Metal Trades Department is a trade department of the AFL-CIO. It was chartered in 1908 to coordinate negotiating, organizing and legislative efforts of affiliated metalworking and related crafts and trade unions. Seventeen national and international unions are affiliated with the MTD today. More than 100,000 workers in private industry and federal establishments work under contracts negotiated by MTD Councils. Workers retain membership in their own trade unions.

Ingalls Shipbuilding Celebrates Apprentice Graduation

By George Blackwell, MarineLink.com

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) informs that it has held a graduation ceremony for graduates of Ingalls Shipbuilding’s Apprentice School. The ceremony, held at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention Center, celebrated the accomplishments of 72 students representing various crafts at Ingalls.

This is the first graduating class that had students who attended classes in the new Haley Reeves Barbour Maritime Training Academy. Through the academy, Ingalls is entering into a new phase of partnership with the Mississippi Community College System that offers a path into bachelor’s degree programs.

Currently, more than 60 faculty and staff deliver 14 different programs and over 120 course offerings that enable apprentices to gain not only the skills, knowledge and pride of workmanship, but also the educational foundation and personal qualities needed to fully meet the challenges of a shipbuilding career. Today more than 1,500 apprentice alumnae fill approximately 50 different types of jobs at Ingalls, from pipe welders to senior executives.

Since 1952, the Apprentice School has produced more than 4,000 graduates in support of Ingalls’ operational needs. The program involves comprehensive two- to four-year curriculum for students interested in shipbuilding careers.

“The expertise you’ve acquired during your time at the Ingalls Apprentice School will serve you well throughout your career, as you establish yourselves as the next generation of craftsmen,” said Vice Adm. William Hilarides, commander, Naval Sea Systems Command, who served as the keynote speaker. “Whether you’re graduating today as an electrician, a welder, a sheet metal cutter or one of the many other trades, you are providing a much-needed skill, not just to Ingalls, but to the Navy and the nation.

Marine electrician Brandon Hamilton, the Outstanding Apprentice of the Year, spoke at the ceremony. “I’m a fourth-generation Ingalls shipbuilder,” he said, “so I grew up hearing about the shipyard and wanted to become a part of it. I learned many things and got a well-rounded experience in the apprentice program. Working with different foremen and crews in many areas of the ship taught me new ways to work with a team, and I learned valuable skills that will stay with me as I enter into this new phase of my career.”

“This ceremony is a celebration of your successful completion of this apprentice program and is an opportunity for us to show you how proud we are of you and what you have accomplished,” said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. “When you entered the program, we believed in your potential. Being here today proves we were right. As I look out across this room, I am encouraged by what our future holds. I am proud of each and every one of you. Continue the momentum you have started, because you are the future of Ingalls Shipbuilding.”

As one door closes another door opens

As one door closes, another door opens. In life that means sometimes saying goodbye to an old friend. On behalf of he officers and staff of the Metal Trades Department, I would like to wish Steve Beal, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers MTD key representative, all the best in his retirement. Steve has been a great personal friend to me, and an asset to the Department. As the IBB representative to the Department, Steve has given generously of his knowledge and experience as a longtime labor activist. His expertise in the field will be greatly missed.

As we say goodbye to our dear friend Steve, please join me in welcoming Gary Powers as our newest key advisor assigned to the Department.

In Solidarity,

Ron Ault, President, MTD