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Amentum Workers at Fort Johnson Vote in Favor of Joining the IAM!

Amentum Workers with UH-72 Lakota

On August 11th, 2023, workers at Amentum, Fort Johnson voted overwhelmingly to join the Machinists Union with only one no vote among the group. These men and women service the UH-72 Lakota’s for the U.S. Army and are tasked with keeping these helicopters serviced and fully operational.

The campaign began with a meeting on May 17th, 2023, where half of the Amentum workers servicing the Fort Johnson UH-72 Lakota's were in attendance to discuss unionizing and what possibilities could come from a collective bargaining agreement. The Service Contract Act notoriously pays workers below industry standard. With wages and benefits set forth by the government’s AWD (Area Wage Determination) these workers get what the government feels they should be paid. Retirement contributions are low if at all, health insurance is costly, and overtime is avoided at all costs. The company will even shorten an employee’s hours the next day to avoid giving them over 40 hours that week.

There are two ways to receive better pay and benefits for SCA workers. The first is to wait for the government to deem them worth more, which is typical. However, the health and welfare AWD contributions have been historically low. The $4.41 an hour is somehow supposed to cover health insurance and some form of retirement. The second option is to form a union and negotiate monetary issues, working conditions and hours of labor.

Most people are not aware that SCA companies like Amentum, GLSS, and Lockheed Martin, do not pay wages and benefits for their employees, the government does. The government will reimburse the company whatever their AWD and fringe benefits allow. However, the Service Contract Act requires the government to recognize a union contract as it would the AWD. Forming a union and negotiating a higher wage, better health insurance and a real retirement option is a minimal cost to the company and allows them to retain talent.

The workers at Amentum, Fort Johnson were a union before the votes had been counted. We explained to the employees that a Chief Shop Steward needs to be nominated and elected as well as a committee. Someone they trust to stand up for them. The body understood that integrity, honesty, and the ability to solve problems is essential for this role and Chose Logan Kennedy.

There was an overwhelming amount of participation in these runoff elections, at the end, the body elected James Marin, Kramer Green, and Spencer Bryant with the confidence to handle their grievances and prepare for contract negotiations.

We at District W2021 are proud to welcome the Amentum workers at Fort Johnson, LA into the IAM!

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