After more than two months off the job, union members with the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers at Pemco could return to work as early as Tuesday.
Union members began lining up as early as 1:30 Sunday afternoon in front of Dale County High School Gym for a meeting to discuss new contract proposals by Pemco World Air.
Bob Wood, union spokesman says “The differences were 180 degrees apart; the other one was full of concessions and take-aways and this offer has raises, higher pensions, good health insurance and more jobs.”
After the votes were counted, 72 percent of those who voted approved of the new contract. They will be going back to work between Tuesday and October 26th. The two week period is normal. It’s to give those who've left to find other work, a chance to come back.
Janet Dawkins, union member, says she is “just glad its over, ready to get back to work, get back to normal, get everybody back home because they been out of town working and its going to be a lot better for everybody.”
Sunday afternoon, the crowd's mood was jovial and they're excited about giving back to the community that supported them the past few months.
Wood also says “We have an apprenticeship program that can be run jointly between the company and the union. That we're going to be able to have more local Dothan people and teach them how to be aircraft mechanics.”
Meanwhile, Willie Shiver, union member, says that he has things to check out on Tuesday, “I’m a custodian, the first thing I’m doing is run around and see what damage has been done and probably shed a few tears.”
Some of the contract highlights for union workers are a pay raise of 3.5 percent every year for 3 years, no subleasing, B Aircraft/Structural Mechanics raised one labor grade, bonus pay for A and P license holders, capped quality health care and a proposal withdrawn for unlimited use of out-of-state contractors.
We’ll have more information on the contract negotiations today.