The 300 workers at Honeywell Aerospace factory in South Bend, Indiana (UAW Local 9) and the 40 or so workers at their sister plant in Green Island, NY (UAW Local 1508) have been locked out since May 9, 2016 over a contract dispute. These workers make braking systems and wheels for commercial and military aircraft, including the Boeing 737, the Boeing B-52, and Lockheed Martin F-35. The average wage was $21.83 per hour.
Honeywell CEO, David Cote, who will retire in March 2017, makes $15,865 per hour. His compensation package includes a base salary, an annual bonus and stock options. When he retires we will receive a monthly retirement check of $908,712. In 2015 Honeywell made a record profit of $4.77 billion and the income in its aerospace division rose–yet the corporation claims it needs to rein in costs because of “turbulence” in the aviation industry.
Honeywell had demanded workers approve a contract that would eliminate cost-of-living increases and pensions, curtail overtime pay, subcontract out union work and restrict representation rights, effectively gutting sixty years of negotiated language. The company wanted the right to unilaterally change health coverage, premiums and deductibles without the union’s approval.
Honeywell was well prepared to play hardball. Well before the contract vote, they began outsourcing work and bringing in workers hired by Strom Engineering who followed workers around, attempting to learn their jobs. But it was a scare tactic, which backfired and unified the work force. Local 9 voted no on the concessionary contract by 270-30.
Two days later the company locked out the workers and bused in scab labor. Workers estimate that even today production is down fifty percent.
Honeywell did not even begin another round of negotiations until September. Their second contract offer was slightly better but still concessionary. The South Bend local voted it down once again by 70% even though their state unemployment benefits have run out. (When the locked out workers in Indiana originally filed for UC benefits, it was Governor – and now Vice-President elect – Mike Pence who tried to have them denied, not Honeywell).
We encourage autoworkers & friends to join the picket line at Honeywell South Bend (3520 Westmoor St, South Bend 46628).
Thurs. January 5th at 11 AM.
A group from Detroit will be leaving from the UAW Local 22 parking lot, 4300 Michigan Ave by 7:30 AM