UPDATE - L-3 Army Fleet Support Releases Statement on New Collective Bargaining Agreement

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UPDATE: 5/4/14 7:36 p.m.

AFS Press Release -- On Sunday, May 4, 2014, the membership of IAM Local 2003 gathered and voted to accept a new collective bargaining agreement with L-3 Communications Army Fleet Support (AFS) that will last through April 28, 2019.

The AFS workforce, both management and hourly will report to work at their normal shifts beginning 5:00 a.m. on Monday, May 5, 2014. AFS Vice President and General Manager Lowell Green said, "This new agreement enables the AFS and IAM team to continue providing our world-class aviation logistical support for the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force institutional training on Fort Rucker.”
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UPDATE: 5/04/14

After meeting to discuss a revised contract, IAM Union members have voted to accept the new conditions of the contract, ending the strike.

Some of the biggest changes to the originally proposed agreement are language clarity and fair distribution of overtime.

Most of the language that L-3 originally included has already been removed. Overtime will now be assigned by the supervisor on a one-on-one basis to a specific employee.

Employees will not be charges for declining optional overtime when outside of their scheduled overtime.

Effective October 13th, of this year, each employee receives a two percent wage increase.

Another change, health care coverage. Union workers will have the choice of the current blue cross blue shield coverage with point of purchase prescription drug coverage or the other with prescription drug card.

We are still on the official count to come in that decides whether or not these union workers continue to strike or go back to work.

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UPDATE: 5/02/14 3:28 p.m.

Press Release -- IAM Local Lodge 2003 and L3 AFS announced a new contract proposal that will be voted on Sunday afternoon, May 4th. The contract vote will be held at the Ozark Civic Center in Ozark, AL at 2 PM Sunday. Doors will open at 11 AM, and all members MUST be in the building at 1:45 PM, as the doors will close in order for everyone to be signed in for the 2 PM meeting.

“We appreciate the efforts of the Federal Mediator in brokering a deal we hope will end the strike at Ft. Rucker, and put our 3,000 members back to work at our mission at Ft. Rucker,” said Union spokesperson Bob Wood. “The decision now rests with our membership.”

The IAM has cancelled both the Local Lodge regular monthly meeting and the District Lodge meeting, both previously scheduled for Saturday.

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UPDATE: 5/01/14 3:57 p.m.

Daleville, AL May 1, 2014 – The Federal Mediator, after meeting with both IAM Local Lodge 2003 and L3 AFS Committees, has directed both the Union and Company to restart negotiations. These negotiations are starting immediately and will be held at an undisclosed location. The Mediator has also directed both sides to make no disclosures or statements outside of the mediation process until it is complete.

The IAM strike against L3 AFS at Ft. Rucker started Monday morning, with nearly 3,000 IAM members on the picket line, and is in its 4th day.

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UPDATE: 4/30/14 1:00 PM
Ozark, AL- Machinist Union strikers are only allowed to picket at the Newton and Ozark gates. Tune in to News 4 this evening and WRGX News at 5:30.

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UPDATE 6:48 p.m. 4/29
Daleville, AL April 29, 2014 – Federal Mediation met today with the Machinists Union Local Lodge 2003 Negotiating Committee, and plans to meet with L3 Army Fleet Support negotiators tomorrow, an important first step in order to help build a path towards restarting negotiations to resolve the issues and return IAM members back to their mission at Ft. Rucker.

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services (FMCS) is a federal agency which provides mediation services to industry and labor. They have often proved indispensable in brokering negotiated solutions via a form of shuttle diplomacy, and have helped numerous IAM bargaining committees in breaking logjams in negotiations. They provide a neutral input and have been able to find solutions that are acceptable to both sides. The FMCS website is fmcs.gov.

“This Local Lodge and their membership understand the importance of the mission at Ft. Rucker, and want to cause as little disruption as possible,” said Union spokesperson Bob Wood. “Our Negotiators are committed to bargain in good faith in the hopes of finding an acceptable resolution that can end this strike.”

“Our members have shown strong solidarity in our strike, and we’re hopeful that we will soon be able to report additional developments,” said Wood. “Of course, our members will have the last word on any new offer.”

Almost 3,000 workers at L3 Army Fleet Support have been on strike since Monday.

The IAM is among the nation’s largest and most politically active industrial trade unions, represents more than 700,000 active and retired workers in industries including aerospace, transportation, manufacturing, shipbuilding and woodworking. Visit www.goiam.org for more information about the IAM.
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UPDATE: 2:50 p.m. 4/29

The International Association of Mechanists Union Representative Bob Wood met on Tuesday with mechanist union strikers at Local Lodge 2003 in Daleville.

He said the negotiating committee are working towards the next step for the L-3 AFS contract.

Currently, the strikers are not getting paid and have been cut off from health insurance. However, if this strike continues for three weeks, at the end of the third week the strikers will receive $150.00 per week for strike pay.

Wood reinforced the strike is not about pay, it is about the wording within the contract.

"This isn't so much about the money, it's about contract issues that are important to the people there, and working under those rules," Wood said.

A representative with AFS said there is no new information to disperse at this time.
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UPDATE: 8:23 p.m. 4/28

The following is a press release from Fort Rucker.

On 27 April, The International Association of Machinists Local 2003, supporting Ft Rucker’s flight training, voted to strike. The Machinists Union represents employees of Army Fleet Support (AFS). Maintenance support of Fort Rucker's entire fleet of helicopters is performed pursuant to a contract with AFS.

Fort Rucker is not a party to the current labor dispute. The dispute is a matter between AFS and its employees. However, this dispute is impacting our ability to train aviators.

Currently there are no changes to access control measures at the gates to the installation and no other impacts to operations on Fort Rucker.

UPDATE - 5:10 p.m. - 4/28

A federal mediator will meet with representatives from IAM Local Lodge 2003 and L-3 in an effort to resolve the current strike. Workers for IAM Local 2003 on Sunday night voted to reject L-3's latest contract offer for a new collective bargaining agreement, and later voted to go on strike.

According to workers on the picket line, several issues are in dispute, including the length of L-3's proposed contract, the benefits offered under the new deal, a change in the seniority policy, and other elements of the new contract.

Army Fleet Support has issued a statement tonight, which says in part, "A commissioner from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service is in route and plans to meet with the parties to identify the issues and help determine the best course of action to resolve the labor dispute. L-3 is working closely with our customer to ensure we provide the best possible aviation logistical support to the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force institutional training on Fort Rucker during this period.”

The strike began at 12:01 a.m. on Monday morning. Approximately 2,900 workers are on strike until the contract dispute is resolved.

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UPDATE -- 9 a.m. - 4/28

Workers at IAM Local 2003 have begun a strike against L-3, a civilian company. IAM Local 2003 provides maintenance and support for Foort Rucker aircraft.

Union members voted by more than a two-thirds majority to reject a five-year contract offer from L-3. After a second vote, union members chose to strike.

IAM Local 2003 workers are picketing outside Fort Rucker gates. The strike took affect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday morning. 2,900 workers are currently striking.

L3's contract offer consisted of a 1.5 percent raise in year one of the five-year deal, with subsequent 2.5 percent raises over the following four years of the contract. Union workers are pushing for a 3-year contract, instead of a 5-year deal, a better benefits package and several other changes to the offered collective bargaining agreement.

WTVY's Matthew McClellan is in Daleville, and he'll have updates on this story throughout the day.

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Nearly three thousand IAM machinists vote to strike.

This is the Local Lodge 2003 of the International Association of Machinists.

Union members voted on their contract offer from L-3 Communications Sunday night in Ozark.

The lodge in Daleville has more than thirty-one hundred members.

There's been a lot of concern about this contract renegotiation. Because of continued cuts to defense funding by the federal government.

News 4 will have more on this story as it becomes available.


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