December 10, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Hartford, CO – Workers at Pratt & Whitney’s Connecticut jet-engine plants on Dec. 4 overwhelmingly approved a contract that will give them 2.5% annual raises but eliminates pensions for workers hired next year and afterwards.
International Association of Machinists members voted 1,691-385 in favor of the deal, which will run through May 2022 and covers about 2,600 workers in East Hartford and Middletown. Doug Campbell, a jet engine mechanic at the Middletown plant, told the Hartford Courant that he’d voted yes despite a “few unpalatable elements,” specifically the pension change and increased health-care costs. A company spokesperson said the contract calls for employees to “continue to transition to industry competitive medical plans.” As the pension elimination didn’t affect current workers, said Machinists chief negotiator Mike Stone, they didn’t want to reject the contract because of it and go out on strike. “It’s hard to muster a strike on that one issue,” he said. Read more