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United Launch Alliance inks new union deal, credits workers for company’s success

Monday, United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced that it had reached a three-year contract agreement with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).

The agreement officially approves the outcome of contract negotiations, which began April 11 and concluded April 21. Terms were approved in a May 1 ratification vote of all geographical locations covered by the deal.

According to ULA, the contract covers more than 600 bargaining unit employees, including workers at the Decatur manufacturing facility.

ULA president and CEO Tory Bruno hailed the company’s workforce in enabling the company to maintain its status as one of the nation’s premier rocket manufacturers.

“We are pleased that the IAM represented employees have ratified this agreement that is so critical to continuing ULA’s success,” stated Bruno in a release. “The represented employees’ contributions have propelled ULA forward in delivering critical capabilities for our nation and our customers. The future is bright at ULA. Our employees build the best, most reliable rockets flying today and the missions we launch save lives, explore the universe, connect the world and help humankind unlock its potential in space.”

“With the recent announcement of future Vulcan launches, we have a healthy launch backlog with more than 70 Vulcan launches on the manifest,” continued Bruno. “This three-year contract helps secure our place as the go-to provider for launching unique missions on extremely complex trajectories as well as missions that will shape the future of the launch industry. We are excited and proud to work as a single and engaged team that is setting the standard for innovation and excellence in the space industry.”

ULA holds an unblemished mission success rate in its more than 145 launches the company has conducted. The diverse set of missions the company has partaken in consist of launches in support of advanced weather research, defense operations, commercial services, broadband expansion, in addition to many other wide-ranging efforts.

In a statement celebrating the new agreement, IAM Aerospace general vice president Mark Blondin touched on the contract’s updated terms and spoke to workers’ commitment to ULA’s success.

“I am proud of this negotiating team who honorably represented our shop floor members at the bargaining table,” said Blondin. “These workers are the best of the best, helping ULA maintain a 100% mission success rate for launches. They deserve a contract that compensates them for all they have given to this country. In this agreement, we achieved gains such as stronger wages, benefits, and working conditions, but we were also able to safeguard the future. Increases to the 401(k), which sets a path for future generations to thrive, seniority protections, and securing fair and equitable work rules are some hard-fought achievements we reinforced and preserved.”

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL