The Wiregrass Metal Trades Council (MTC) has ratified what Metal Trades Department President Jimmy Hart calls the “best contract in the history of the department, full stop.”

The new five-year agreement between the Wiregrass MTC and Fort Novosel (Ruckers) includes a five percent wage increase in the first year and an annual increase of $3.00 per hour for each of the remaining years of the contract.

MTD General Representative Dale Troll negotiated the contract with Tech Systems, Inc., the government contractor and employer at the Army base. “The nearly three-month negotiation was challenging as it broke new ground, but in the end, both sides came to a productive and amicable agreement,” says Troll. “The company worked with us to ensure that employees represented by the Council would see substantial enhancements to their wages and benefits, as well as new leave and certification/licensing reimbursement policies.”

Wiregrass MTC-represented employees are members of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 653, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 2152, and the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 559.

“At Fort Novosel, some employees will see as much as a 98 percent increase in pay and benefits over the life of the contract,” says Hart. “I am so proud of this agreement. It proves what we’ve been saying all along, working union makes a difference.”