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Local News

United Launch Alliance Workers OK Contract, End Strike at Vandenberg Air Force Base

After striking for nearly two weeks, United Launch Alliance workers who belong to the Machinists Union voted Saturday to accept a new contract and return to work. The walkout affected Vandenberg Air Force Base and two other sites.

The contract covers 600 employees who also work at ULA’s East Coast launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and the Atlas V and Delta IV rocket manufacturing plant in Decatur, Ala.

Approximately 80 members work at Vandenberg under Lodge 2786 with the rest belonging to lodges at the other two locations.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers walked off the job after rejecting the previous contract offer May 6. Picketing began May 7.

Following a meeting with mediators earlier this week, a new four-year contract offer was submitted to members and approved Saturday in voting at the three sites.

“We are pleased that the IAM-represented employees have ratified this agreement that is so critical to continuing ULA’s success,” said Tory Bruno, ULA president and CEO.

“The represented employees’ contributions have propelled ULA forward in delivering critical capabilities for our nation and our customers.”

Union representatives said the approved agreement includes protections to prevent subcontracting, along with tweaked travel work rules and regulations.

“Armed with a message that resonated with workers across the United States, they were able to stand in solidarity and reject the company’s first offer, in essence telling ULA that they deserved more,” said Mark A. Blondin, IAM’s Southern Territory general vice president.

“The ... new offer acknowledges the hard work and dedication these workers have put forth for decades, making this company the absolute safest it can be in an industry crowded with greatness.”

Negotiations spanned 10 days, with both sides meeting in Buellton before talks broke down.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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