PTI Labor Research
  Power Through Information  

Latest News - October 2011

October 10, 2011
Honeywell Kansas City plant workers go on strike
Source: The Kansas City Star

Machinists at the Honeywell Kansas City plant went on strike Monday morning after rejecting a contract offer Sunday.

The action idles 840 members of Machinists Local Lodge 778, who had ratified a three-year contract in October 2008.

Union and company officials are to meet with a federal mediator this morning.

“This is an unfair-labor-practices strike,” said Steve Nickel, a representative with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers who was at the local lodge Monday morning. “They’re bargaining in bad faith.”

Linda Cook, Honeywell’s senior manager of communications at the Bannister Road location, countered that the company had worked to make its best offer and was not aware why it had been rejected.

“Honeywell has been bargaining in good faith to reach a fair agreement that addressed both costs and our competitiveness issues we have in these difficult economic times,” Cook said.

Both sides agreed that the contract offer included pay raises over the next six years and a $2,000 ratification bonus had the contract been approved.

The contract also would have created a different pay scale for employees hired after the start of 2012. The Honeywell plant has not had a two-tier pay structure previously.

Honeywell operates the federally owned plant that makes non-nuclear components for nuclear weapons. It has about 2,800 employees, most of whom are salaried and not represented by a union.

Plant president Chris Gentile described the contract terms in a four-page letter that was sent by express mail to all 840 union members ahead of the vote.

It alleged that union members were frustrated over a lack of information and said that Gentile had “heard things reported as ‘facts’ that simply aren’t true. Perhaps I’ve not done a good job of communicating, hence, this letter.”

Gentile’s letter also appealed to members’ “service to the nation” and asked them to vote for the contract.

Nickel bristled at the letter as evidence the company was acting in bad faith. He said it only included “the good stuff” about the contract and failed to show other important changes.

“That’s why our members were so mad,” Nickel said. “They were trying to undermine the (negotiating) committee.”

Nickel said the union would file charges with the National Labor Relations Board, which was closed Monday for the Columbus Day holiday.

Both sides seemed prepared for the possibility of the strike.

Cook said the company had prepared to meet its customers’ needs during a potential disruption by boosting its inventory and identifying non-union employees who could continue needed operations.

Strikers will receive benefits, Nickel said, for however long the walkout lasts.

He said 79 percent of the members had rejected Honeywell’s offer in a vote over the weekend. Then 85 percent of the members voted to strike.

The 2008 contract had provided a 9 percent raise over its three-year term and a slight increase in medical insurance. It had received support from 75 percent of the 920 hourly workers then employed at the plant



Latest News

Deliver your message anywhere, anytime.
Campaign Websites reinforce your campaign message in a format that preserves employee anonymity


Union Awareness Program
PTI Labor Research has been obtaining and analyzing union activity and petitions for over 20 years. We have the largest and most extensive research data in the country which has been utilized by thousands of companies, labor lawyers and consultants.


About Us          |          Services          |          News          |          Clients          |          FAQ          |          Contact Us

© 2009 PTI Labor Research. All Rights Reserved