ICYMI: Rep. Courtney Applauds Ratification of New Labor Contract Between Electric Boat and the Metal Trades Council on House Floor 

ICYMI: Rep. Courtney Applauds Ratification of New Labor Contract Between Electric Boat and the Metal Trades Council on House Floor 

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.

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“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.

MTD Mourns USW International President Conway

MTD Mourns USW International President Conway

“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.”

Shutdown Averted, for Now…

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.”

Hot Union Summer: Metal Trades Councils Negotiate More Record Setting Contracts

New London MTC Has Tentative Agreement at EB; Negotiators Say, ‘Best Compensation Package in More than Three Decades’

“Metal Trades skilled negotiators are delivering the contracts that America’s working families deserve,” exclaims MTD President Jimmy Hart.

The Metal Trades Council of New London County has successfully negotiated the largest wage compensation package in over 30 years with Electric Boat. The tentative agreement includes a $6,000 retention bonus for current MTC-represented employees and hourly wage increases of approximately 23 percent over the course of the five-year contract. Additional highlights of the contract include vacation percentage expansion for employees with 10 or more years of service, a $2,500 one-time contribution to employees’ 401k, increased pension benefits for eligible employees, enhanced insurance benefits, and new advancement opportunities for STO, Maintenance, and Inspection employees.

Members will vote on the agreement on Friday, October 6.

Electric Boat is a General Dynamics subsidiary located in Connecticut. It has been the primary builder of submarines for the U.S. Navy for more than 100 years.

Sandia Agreement Nets Substantial 23 Percent Wage Increases Over Three Years

At the Atomic Projects and Production Workers Metal Trades Council in Albuquerque, NM, the negotiating committee has reached an agreement with the contractor, National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia (NTESS), a subsidiary of Honeywell. The three-year agreement provides a 17 percent increase for all MTC-represented employees in year one and three percent wage increases in years two and three. The agreement also includes a $1,500 ratification bonus and benefit enhancements.

HAMTC Ratifies Outstanding Five-Year Agreement at Battelle

Members at the Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council (HAMTC) at Pacific National Labs, Battelle, ratified an outstanding five-year collective bargaining agreement this week. The agreement includes 22 percent wage increases over the life of the contract and a $3,000 signing bonus. In addition to the financial gains, member health care costs will be frozen at today’s rates.

“It’s better in a union. On behalf of the department, I congratulate the negotiating committee on a job well done. Once again, our Councils are creating family sustaining jobs and good-paying life long careers for union members in the metal trades. A job well done,” said President Hart.

Ironworkers Local 854 Internal Organizing Successes at Tidewater Federal Employees MTC

The Ironworkers Local 854, an affiliate of the Tidewater Federal Employees Metal Trades Council (TFEMTC) NAVFAC Groton Facility has been running an internal organizing campaign to sign up employees that had been nonpayers. The Local has successfully signed up 50 new federal employees of the 76 possible. Congratulations to the local, Ironworkers organizer Ed Jones, and the crew of internal organizers that worked on this campaign.

“Good things happen when you reach out to workers,” said Metal Trades Department President James Hart. “The Local started with two dues paying members in this unit. Now, because of the hard work of brother Jones and his organizers, the unit is almost 100 percent organized. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

Labor Day 2023: ‘It’s Better in a Union’

Labor Day 2023: ‘It’s Better in a Union’

Labor Day marks a time to celebrate America’s workers for all they do to keep America moving. President Kennedy once said “labor unions are not narrow, self-seeking groups. They have raised wages, shortened hours, and provided benefits. Through collective bargaining and grievance procedures, unions have brought justice and democracy to the workplace.”

And, after decades of declining union membership and reckless anti-union rhetoric from corporate shills, workers are on the rise. It appears a new generation of workers have discovered that it is better in a union.

Standing together with coworkers in a union makes a tangible difference in our daily lives. And, after years of inequity and economic insecurity across occupations, we are seeing workers in every profession from video game developers and baristas to medical interns and veterinarians say ‘Enough is enough! We deserve better.’ And they do. We all do.

Union workers on average make 18 percent more than their nonunion counterparts. They are more likely to have healthcare benefits, safer working conditions, and job security. And they are generally more satisfied with their job. It is better in a union. And our futures are brighter when we work union.

As you can see in the recently negotiated contracts across our metal trades councils, we are securing better wages and benefits for our represented employees. We are helping families across North America afford the costs associated with inflation, save money for retirement, afford groceries, and seek out medical care when needed. We are providing a brighter future through collective bargaining.

President Biden and Vice President Harris have proven to be the most union-friendly administration in U.S. history and their efforts to craft legislation that supports workers has been reflected across the Metal Trades with historic contracts and federal wage improvements that allow our members to thrive, not just survive. It’s better in a union.

So, this Labor Day, I implore Metal Trades nation and unions from coast to coast to spread the word and show off your union pride. Join a parade, fly your union flag, and let America know: it is better in a union!

On behalf of the officers and staff of the Metal Trades Department, I’d like to wish you a happy and safe Labor Day weekend. #ItsBetterInAUnion!