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.