Machinists Members Ratify New Pact With Raytheon Missile at Arizona Plant

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By William H. Carlile

PHOENIX--International Association of Machinists members at Raytheon Missile Systems Oct. 28 ratified a new three-year contract covering about 1,600 hourly workers, effective Nov. 1, spokesmen for the bargaining parties told BNA.

The company is the largest private employer in metropolitan Tucson, Ariz.

James E. Watson, directing business representative for IAM Old Pueblo Lodge 933, told BNA the new contract is a continuation of an expiring three-year pact. That agreement was ratified Oct. 31, 2009 (213 DLR A-9, 11/6/09).

The new contract calls for a general wage increase of 2.75 percent in both the first and the second years, and a 2.5 percent increase in the third year.

Raytheon spokesman John Patterson said in a written statement, “This agreement provides our employees with a fair and equitable package, and allows Raytheon Missile Systems to maintain the high-performing, quality workplace that our customers and community expect from us, now and in the years ahead.’’

Watson, meanwhile, described the package as “very competitive for defense, probably the best wages in the state.’’ Local 933 IAM represents 2,400 defense workers in Arizona.

Manufacturing Technicians Comprise Majority
The category of manufacturing technicians represents the largest percentage of the Raytheon workers, more than 600 in all, Watson told BNA. For that category of assembly technicians, the average top-level wage rises from the current level of $22.13 an hour to $23.95 the first year of the contract, to $24.61 the second year, and to $25.22 the final year.

Because that category represents the largest single occupation, the average rate of pay will be about $25.10 an hour, Watson told BNA.

Among the highest-paid categories, maintenance electricians will see an increase in pay to $30.38 an hour by the end of the contract. Service technicians will see an increase to $29.65 an hour.

Watson told BNA the contract includes a $750 signing bonus for bargaining unit members, as well as protections for seniority rights and caps on health-care premium increases.

The maximum that health-insurance premiums may increase from year to year is 12 percent, and those premiums cannot rise more than the premiums for salaried employees.

The ratification was by a simple majority. Watson declined to offer details of the vote.

Meanwhile, Raytheon's Patterson said in his statement, “We look forward to continuing to work together with the IAMAW to perform the work that is so vital to our war fighters and the nation.’’

By William H. Carlile

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