Union Favors Strike

Pemco Aviation Group

Pemco Aviation Group's union members voted in favor of a possible strike.

They met at Dale County High School in Midland City where they unanimously rejected the company's offer for a contract settlement.

But, according to union representatives, details of the strike are still uncertain as they are hoping Pemco will counter-offer, ultimately avoiding a strike altogether.

The issues bothering Pemco's union members revolve around the new proposed contract which they claim is not in the employees best interests.

Billy Blackmon, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, says "they have made proposals such as reducing holidays by two days, changing the family medical leave act, reducing or deleting double time for working on Sunday, the insurance plan they offered is a management plan which is less than what we currently have and they proposed for our members to pay a portion of their premium and they proposed a five year agreement with no wage increases for the next five years."

So in the meeting, union members discussed their options and decided on their next step of action.

The meeting lasted about two hours and when it came to an end, only one representative agreed to talk to News 4 about the outcome.

Blackmon says "it may or may not happen; we want the company to counter-offer first."

Pemco Aviation is one of the leading independent providers of maintenance, repair, and overhaul services in the aerospace industry.

The Dothan location had about 450 employees, but because of extensive lay-offs, they now only employ around 250 people.

Blackmon says, "Normally, about contract time, they lay off a number of people but they've laid off more this time than in previous negotiations to my knowledge we have in excess 200 people laid off."

The union members’ current contract expires at midnight this Tuesday.

The new contract management proposed is a five year contract, but union members want only a three year contract that they can agree on.

Blackmon says, "I'm disappointed in the company. We've had cordial relations at the table, we were hoping that would lead to a mutual agreement but that has not come about so we have to do what we have to do and hopefully we will resolve it as soon as possible."

If they decide to strike, union members will only draw strike benefits of 150 dollars a week.

According to an anonymous union member, the last time Pemco went on strike was eight years ago and it lasted about three months.