Machinists Union Ratifies Contract with GKN Aerospace

Members of IAM Local 387 voting on a new contract at Ameristar Casino.

Machinists Union Local 387 members ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with GKN Aerospace in St. Louis. The four-year agreement includes wage increases, improved cost-of-living adjustments, seed money for Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and lower-cost options for prescription drugs.

One of the challenges during contract negotiations was trying to eliminate an unfair and divisive two-tier wage system. The new contract provides first-step improvements to the two-tier wage system which includes a path for tier two employees to move to the top tier and limits expansion of the second tier. It also allows for faster progression to top pay.

The skilled IAM Local 387 members at GKN Aerospace craft, design and build advanced composite, metal parts and assemblies in the aerospace industry.

GKN Ratification Vote February 20

Make your voice heard at the GKN Ratification Vote SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20. Doors open at 9 a.m. The meeting starts promptly at 10 a.m. There will be time for question and answers before the actual vote. Please stay for the entire meeting.

ALERT

The Bargaining Committee is still working on a summary of the GKN’s final offer and is not prepared to discuss the details at today’s meeting. We want to make sure our information is completely accurate. Anyone who plans to take a chance with today’s dangerous driving conditions to attend the meeting should know that it will be a normal union meeting. We are only prepared to speak in generalities until the final summary is completed next week. The safety of our members is paramount. If you decide to attend, please be careful.

Tentative Agreement Reached

After three months of hard negotiations with GKN Aerospace, IAM Local 387’s negotiating committee has reached a tentative agreement with the company. The committee will present the details of the agreement to the membership during the following week.  The committee is working diligently to prepare a summary of the agreement, which the membership will vote on SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20.

A photo of members of the IAM Local 387 Negotiating Committee.
IAM Local 387 Bargaining Committee negotiating with GKN Aerospace.

Process Continues

Five members of the negotiating committee sitting at the main table.

Negotiations resumed between IAM Local 387 and GKN Aerospace in St. Louis this week. Table discussions continue to focus on economic issues such as cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), general wage increases, two-tier wage scales and health benefits. The committee would like to thank the membership for its support as we get closer a tentative agreement. Please attend Saturday’s union meeting at 2 p.m.

Plan Ahead

A graphic with the words Plan Ahead, Prepare for the future on a blue background with a photo of flags outside IAM Local 387.

STRIKE PREPARATION

A strike involves sacrifice, something you need to prepare for, financially.

Here are some steps to consider:

  1. Prepare a complete household budget. Do this as a family project:
  • Fixed expenses such as mortgage/rent, insurance, loans, installment payments, etc.
  • Monthly expenses such as food, vehicle gas and maintenance, repairs, prescriptions, entertainment, etc.
  • Future expenses such as income and property taxes.
  1. Set priorities for your expenses.
  • List payments in order of importance.
  • The most important will be your mortgage/rent. Next are utilities, insurance, car payments and gasoline.
  • Child support and alimony (if applicable) are also high priorities.
  1. Make a complete list of creditors.
  • For each, list contact person’s name, address, phone number and email address; account number, total amount owed, payment schedule and amount.
  1. Notify your creditors before getting behind.
  • Determine how much you can regularly pay on each bill.
  • If you need to negotiate lower payments, notify your creditors before you get behind. Creditors are usually easier to work with when you inform them before a severe problem arises.
  • Contact them in writing and include your account number, phone number and address. State why you need a payment reduction, refinancing or delay.
  • Keep copies of your letters and notes from any phone conversations.
  1. Pay what you can.
  • Even if you can’t pay the total amount, pay something regularly. This lowers your overdue balance and lets creditors know you’re acting in good faith.
  • Partial payments may keep your account from being referred to a collection agency.
  1. Stay in touch with creditors.
  • After your first letter, keep in regular contact with your creditors. This is reassuring, shows a responsible attitude, and may keep them from “hounding” you.
  • Important: Don’t ignore your mail. That only makes things worse. If you don’t understand a bill or notice, promptly contact the sender.
  1. Stop credit card purchases.
  • Stop relying on plastic. Interest on most credit cards is extremely high.
  • Make larger payments to reduce your balance.
  1. Reduce household expenses.
  • With your family, plan reductions to stay within your budget.
  1. Check into other financial resources.
  • If you have life insurance, review your policy or talk to an agent to see if you can borrow against your policy.
  • If you have the resources, also consider dipping into savings.

Contract Ratification Meeting Information

In preparation for the contract ratification meeting scheduled for Saturday, February 20, 2021, the negotiating committee would like to provide an overview of what you can expect and how the day will proceed.

The meeting will be held at the Ameristar Casino, Discovery Ballroom, 1 Ameristar Blvd., St. Charles, Mo. 63301.  Doors open at 9 a.m. and the meeting starts promptly at 10 a.m.

In accordance with the District 837 Bylaws and IAM Constitution, the Negotiating Committee will provide the membership the final proposed changes and­­ its recommendation to accept or reject.  The Committee will also take questions.

At the conclusion of the question-and-answer session, the membership will vote on whether to accept or reject the contract.  Only members in good standing are eligible to vote. You can contact the hall at 314-731-0603, ext. 101 to verify whether you are a member in good standing.

There are two separate ballots. The first one is to accept or reject the contract offer. If a majority of the members in attendance accept the contract, it goes into effect at midnight on Sunday, February 21, 2021.

If more than 50% of the members in attendance vote to reject the proposed contract, a second vote will be taken to authorize a strike.  The second ballot is a “yes” or “no” to authorize a strike. A two-thirds majority of “yes” votes from the members in attendance is needed for strike action. If less than two-thirds of the votes cast are in favor of a strike, the contract offer is accepted by default.

The ballots will be counted immediately after each vote in the presence of the membership and the results will be announced as soon as the count is completed.  We will also post results on this website.

For updates on negotiations, continue to visit  www.iam387.org or follow the IAM Local 387 Facebook page.

Even Snow Won’t Stop Us

Negotiating Committee outside with a wood pile in the snow.

Your negotiating committee is gearing up for the continuation of bargaining with GKN Aerospace February 8. Our ultimate goal is to get a contract offer that addresses current issues,  a contract that everyone can live with. The additional time the extension provides allows for more negotiations to get us closer to our goal.

We will have more information for you the week of February 8. Thank you for your support during this time, especially by telling the company what you need to ratify an agreement when asked.

Keep checking this website, www.IAM387.org, text updates if you have signed up for them, and IAM Local 387’s Facebook page. Stay healthy and safe.

Six members standing outside in the snow with chainsaws after cutting wood.
Negotiating Committee members cutting wood.

Negotiations To Continue…

A photo of the IAM Local 387 negotiating committee.

After more than six weeks of negotiations with GKN Aerospace, IAM Local 387’s negotiating committee reports little progress on the two-tier wage issue, elimination of the PPO plan or the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). These key issues have been at the forefront of our negotiation process. Day after day, the committee has brought your issues to the table.

The committee has not yet received a last, best and final offer from the company. We have agreed to an extension through midnight February 21 in an effort to get you the best possible offer and address your issues and concerns. The January 24 vote has been postponed. Face-to-face bargaining will resume February 8. Details to follow. For more information, visit www.IAM387.org.

Thursday Update

Thursday’s negotiations with GKN Aerospace continued to focus on wages, the two-tier pay scale and health benefits. While movement is slow, the committee remains steadfast in its efforts.  If you haven’t completed a strike duty form, please see your shop steward or plant chairman.