Nearly 3,000 Machinists of Local 2003 in Daleville, AL are back at work at Fort Rucker today after voting by a 92 percent margin to ratify a new contract offer from L3 Army Fleet Support (AFS). The vote ended a week-long strike that idled flight training at one of the world’s largest helicopter bases.
IAM Local 2003 is among the largest locals in the South, with a long history of community service. The contract between Local 2003 and AFS is the largest agreement in the U.S. negotiated under Service Contract Act guidelines.
Click here to watch a Machinists News Network video with interviews that show the depth of community support for IAM Local 2003.
“Our strike was about respect and dignity on the job,” said District 75 Directing Business Representative Steve Pridgen. “The initial proposal from AFS contained radical changes to members’ seniority rights, and they exercised their right to insist on a new proposal.”
The IAM requested mediators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), who brought Local 2003 and L3 AFS negotiators together and helped broker the new offer.
Business owners in the area rely heavily on economic activity generated by Local 2003 members and many backed the strike, allowing members use their property to publicize issues in the dispute.
“The Machinists are the heart and soul of Fort Rucker,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin. “The base has 11 million flight hours without a safety-related accident, an astounding record. Our members are highly-skilled and proud of their mission to support our national defense. The collective bargaining system worked well to resolve the problems at Fort Rucker.”