A contract dispute at Collins Aerospace in Union is nearing two weeks long, with employees alleging they have been “locked out” as the two parties are yet to negotiate a deal. These employees have been demonstrating outside the Collins Aerospace campus, which is alongside U.S. Rt. 219, and have stated they are not on strike.
A statement from the United Steelworkers of America, the union which represents the employees of Collins Aerospace, reads, “USW members were looking forward to returning to the bargaining table when the company locked them out [on the morning of Monday, May 23]. Members have repeatedly asked the company to allow them to come back to work while they continue negotiations, but the company has refused. ‘Collins Aerospace must be made accountable for its decision to hold our jobs, families and community hostage over issues that should be resolved through collective bargaining,’ USW District 8 Director Larry Ray said. ‘Management needs to end this lockout immediately, return these workers to their jobs and resolve our differences at the table.’”
Meanwhile, Collins Aerospace claims that they offered employees a fair package which was refused. In a statement from Collins Aerospace’s communications desk, the company states, “We are disappointed that union members failed to ratify the contract. Collins Aerospace presented a fair contract offer that would recognize and reward our employees’ contributions while keeping us competitive, and one that would keep our manufacturing employees amongst the highest paid in the area.
In addition to wage increases, we offered lower healthcare premiums, a cash ratification bonus, a cash appreciation award and additional sick leave. Collins has a structure in place to continue operations and we do not expect this to impact delivering on our commitments to our customers.”
As of press time there have been no announcements by the company as to a timetable on the opening of the facility or the resumption of contract negotiations.