Business

Union authorizes strike at Rockwell Collins

Members of IBEW 1362 and other union members picket in front of Rockwell Collins corporate offices in northeast Cedar Rapids on Jan. 20, 2017. Over 100 picketers, carrying signs, mops and brooms, raised community awareness and called for the company to honor the contract with the union. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Members of IBEW 1362 and other union members picket in front of Rockwell Collins corporate offices in northeast Cedar Rapids on Jan. 20, 2017. Over 100 picketers, carrying signs, mops and brooms, raised community awareness and called for the company to honor the contract with the union. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1362, voted Wednesday to authorize a strike against Rockwell Collins.

The union members voted for the strike authorization by 84 percent.

On July 18 Arbitrator Robert Grey upheld a grievance filed by the IBEW that stated Rockwell had violated its union contract by outsourcing custodial work for its Cedar Rapids facilities.

At the time, the avionics company said the outsourcing was necessary to cut costs.

The company acknowledged two dozen custodial employees had been laid off as a result of the outsourcing.

“Maintaining or increasing the company’s competitiveness,” Grey wrote in his July decision, “is undisputedly a valid business priority. However, on this record, if the company were free to avoid or unilaterally dismantle its collectively bargained wage obligations on the basis of labor cost savings alone, such fundamental contractual provisions would be rendered meaningless.”

Grey then gave Rockwell and the Local 60 days to find a solution to the grievance.

“We respect the right of our employees and others to voice their opinions,” Rockwell spokeswoman Pam Tvrdy-Cleary said Thursday. “We believe we have acted on this matter in good faith and in full compliance with the current collective bargaining agreement.

“Rockwell Collins will continue to work with the union to resolve this matter.

In announcing the strike authorization, the union said in a statement that, “We hope this sends a clear message to the company to comply with the arbitrator’s decision.”

Local members were told to report for work “until otherwise directed,” the IBEW statement said.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

CONTINUE READING

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.