For Immediate Release: October 3, 2015
Contact: Ron Ault, 202-508-3705 or Tara Landis, 410-991-6615
Amarillo, TX–After more than a month on strike, the Amarillo Metal Trades Council (MTC), a 10-union coalition representing nearly 1,200 workers at the Pantex Nuclear Weapons facility, and Consolidated Nuclear Security (CNS) have reached a tentative agreement.
The MTC struck after more than seven months of bargaining when, on August 28, CNS-Pantex presented its “best, last and final” offer. At that time, 87 percent of the unionized workers voted to strike the Amarillo facility.
In late September, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services (FMCS) Director, Allison Beck, called the two parties back to the table to resume talks. The proposed agreement is a direct result of those new negotiations.
Highlights of the agreement include improved medical coverage with controlled out-of-pocket medical costs and contained premium increases for current and future employees; maintenance of the defined benefit pension plan for current employees; maintained sick leave earnings and bank; and improved short-term disability benefits.
“This was a hard fought battle,” says MTC President Clarence Rashada. “This strike was never about wages. It was about holding onto hard-won benefits and protecting our member’s future. In this agreement were able to improve several problem areas in the offer that was rejected. It will now go back to our members to vote on, ultimately, they have the final say.”
Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO President Ron Ault is pleased with the proposed agreement and thanked FMCS Deputy Director Scot L. Beckenbaugh, who acted as mediator. “I am very happy that, with the assistance of Federal Mediator Beckenbaugh, the parties were able to come to an fair and equitable agreement that restores the workers hard earned benefits,” said Ault.
In addition to the benefits package, the tentative agreement also gives employees annual wage increases of two percent. MTC represented employees will vote on the proposed agreement on Sunday, October 4.
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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.
The Amarillo Metal Trades Council is a 10-union Council within the Metal Trades Department that represents roughly 1,200 Pantex workers. The unions include: International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW); International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE); United Association (UA); International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers(IBB); Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART); International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT); Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU); International Association of Fire Fighters.