Forty workers at the plant, which specializes in making titanium aerospace parts for Precision Castparts (PCC Structurals), voted last June to join the Machinists. It was a hard-fought campaign, with the company — a multi-national corporation with nonunion facilities in several states — hiring a union buster. Immediately after the union victory, the company retaliated against some union supporters, changing their work shifts and break times. The Machinists filed and won an unfair labor practice (ULP) complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Bargaining for a first contract hasn’t been much better. Talks began in August with an attorney flown in from Oklahoma. On Dec. 29, the Machinists filed a second ULP complaint, this one accusing Bodycote of bad-faith bargaining and refusing to put proposals in writing. The NLRB is currently investigating the charges.
Meantime, talks were held Feb. 25-26, with more scheduled for March 30-31. To date, the sides have tentatively agreed to only nine items.
Machinists union rep Will Lukens said more informational picketing is likely if the company doesn’t start making some movement in bargaining.