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Machinists End Punch at Rocket-Launch Company

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.—A strike by about 600 workers at United Launch Alliance ended May 19 when International Association of Machinists members ratified a four-year contract. The workers, who build rockets and do hardware-related work for launches at Cape Canaveral, Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and Decatur, Alabama had walked out May 6 after rejecting the company’s contract offer. “There’s some relief because people are going to be returning to work and know they’ll have a paycheck,” Machinists chief aerospace negotiator Jody Bennett told Florida Today. “There’s still some disappointment in the fact that it took a strike action for the company to make an offer that was acceptable.” The agreement guarantees that employees will get at least 14 days between work-related trips, a key issue for the union, as workers often have to leave their home sites for up to 30 days to support launch operations. It also raises their pay by a total of 9.25%, slightly more than the company’s previous offer, beginning with 1.75% this year and going up to 3% in the fourth year. United Launch is a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin formed in 2006. Read more

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