A trio of local lodges from Alabama, Florida and California sent representatives to the William W. Winpisinger Center recently for an intensive week of training in preparation for upcoming contract negotiations with United Launch Alliance (ULA).
Formed in 2006, ULA is a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed-Martin and employs approximate 850 IAM members of Local 44 in Decatur, AL, Local 2786 at Vandenberg AFB and District 166 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The Negotiations Prep Class at the WWW Center provided the IAM committee with training in the areas of bargaining strategies, contract costing, strategic planning and contract labor regulations and law. The committee also received training and guidance from representatives of the IAM’s Strategic Resources Department.
A key feature of the class is the much-anticipated mock bargaining session, where the IAM negotiating committee debates economic and non-economic proposals with a company representative (convincingly played by WWW Center Director Chris Wagoner). The session gives committee members a realistic taste of the dynamics of the bargaining table and the importance of advance preparation.
“The mock bargaining session is an invaluable experience for a representative going into negotiations for the first time,” said Wagoner. “”But it’s just as useful for someone with years of experience. Every contract is unique and it’s critical to have the most up-to-date information about what our members expect and what a company can deliver. This group is well prepared to get the best agreement possible when they sit down with the company reps from ULA.”
Opening day for the IAM’s coordinated negotiations with ULA is scheduled for April 13, 2015 in Huntsville, AL. The committee’s overall goal is to address members’ key issues and produce a tentative agreement that can be recommended and ratified by members at all three locations.