CORRECTION: The original post of this release stated that the meeting would be held September 28, that date is incorrect. No date has been decided upon at this time.
For Immediate Release: September 16, 2015
Contact: Ron Ault, 202-508-3705
Or Clarence Rashada, 806-674-1763
Amarillo, TX—In a somewhat unusual move, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services (FMCS) Director Allison Beck has called DOE contractor Consolidated Nuclear Services and the Amarillo Metal Trades Council (MTC) back to the bargaining table in an effort to resolve the dispute that led to a strike at the Pantex nuclear weapons facility in Amarillo, TX.
In a statement released by the FMCS, Beck states: “While FMCS has been monitoring the situation closely and mediation is normally a completely voluntary process, we cannot stand by and let this critical nuclear weapons facility continue to experience a work stoppage.”
Beck has assigned Deputy Director Scot L. Beckenbaugh as the Federal Mediator.
The move is welcome news to Metal Trades Department President Ron Ault and Amarillo MTC President Clarence Rashada, however both are cautious in their optimism that a resolution will be met.
“This strike has never been about wages,” says Rashada. “It has always been about maintaining the benefits that we have earned and bargained for in previous collective bargaining agreements.”
“I’m pleased that the FMCS has stepped in to assist us in these negotiations,” says Ault. “These workers deserve a fair and equitable contract that includes benefits commensurate with the service they provide our nation.”
Metal Trades Council-represented workers at Pantex are responsible for the nuclear weapons life extension programs: weapons dismantlement; development, testing and fabrication of high explosives components; and storage and surveillance of plutonium pits. This is the only facility in the U.S. responsible for the assembly, disassembly and replacement of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile.
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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 a10-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.