Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sikorsky Workers Approve New Contract In Landslide Vote

Sikorsky Aircraft workers voted overwhelmingly Sunday to adopt a new contract that provides raises worth well more than 15 percent over the next five years.

Teamsters Local 1150 members in Connecticut, Florida and Maryland ratified the deal on a 2,235-to-66 vote.

The union negotiated givebacks last year after United Technologies sold the company to Lockheed Martin, and union spokesman Rocco Calo said the new contract had no additional concessions.

“This was just great, from the standpoint that it’s the first time out of the box with Lockheed Martin,” Calo said Sunday evening. “When they came to us for concessions to keep some work in Connecticut, we stepped up. This contract is all forward-moving.”

Local 1150 represents 3,123 hourly employees at Sikorsky facilities in Stratford, Bridgeport and Shelton, and 698 in West Palm Beach, Fla. Some employees are currently working in Maryland as well.

“We are pleased to have ratified the contract. The negotiating teams for both the company and the union worked hard to reach an agreement acceptable to both sides,” said Jay Bennett, Sikorsky’s vice president of human relations.

Last year’s concessions required a 25 percent cut in starting pay for employees hired after July 1, 2017. Calo said such workers are being hired at $22 to $38 an hour.

The most senior employees in the top-paid crafts will be paid $57 an hour by the time the new contract runs out in 2022, he said.

The ratification vote in Connecticut was 1,857-64, and in Florida and Maryland was 378-2.

Workers will receive 3 percent raises this month and in each of the next four years. In addition, they will get nine cost-of-living adjustments during the life of the contract.

The company will give a ratification bonus of $5,000, with half next month and half in February 2021.

Lockheed Martin acquired the company for $9 billion in 2015.

Seeking to keep well-paid engineering and manufacturing jobs in the state, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration reached a deal with Stratford-based Sikorsky last year. It provides as much as $220 million in grants and tax breaks in return for the company increasing employment in Connecticut and raising spending with state-based suppliers.

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