October 9, 2018

UTC, union end strike; sign 5-yr. labor pact

HBJ File Photo
HBJ File Photo
UTC's Farmington headquarters.
UTC aerospace workers in Cheshire have ended a three-week strike over pay rates and insurance coverage.

UTC aerospace workers in Cheshire have inked a new five-year labor contract, ending a bitter three-week strike over what union members called inadequate pay and health insurance.

UTC officials said 188 members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) Local 62A, who walked out of work Sept. 17, returned Monday after agreeing to a new deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Union leaders did not respond for comment Tuesday.

IAM launched the strike after negotiations with UTC on a three-year contract fell through. Union members said they were dissatisfied with UTC's offer a 2.5 percent pay hike for workers earning an average of $19.95 per hour.

The union argued workers at UTC aerospace plants in East Hartford and Windsor Locks earned far more at $35 per hour in addition to more affordable insurance coverage. UTC officials said their original offer was "fair and equitable."

The Cheshire plant at 250 Knotter Dr. remained opened during the strike.

UTC officials called IAM back to the negotiating table a week ago just days after strikers brought the protest to UTC's corporate headquarters in Farmington.

Meantime, UTC's aerospace business is nearing completion of a proposed $30 billion acquisition of Iowa avionics parts manufacturer Rockwell Collins.

UTC has said the combined company will operate as a business unit known as Collins Aerospace Systems.

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