Raytheon union approves new contract, avoids possible strike

Raytheon union approves new contract, avoids possible strike

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, a Raytheon union, have approved a new 3-year contract. The majority of voters approved the contract at a special meeting on Sunday.

If the negotiations between the union and Raytheon were not successful by Sunday, members could have gone on strike. The last strike was about 10 years ago. Steven Nickel, the union spokesperson said healthcare and retirement issues were a big part of the negotiations.

Raytheon presented its initial healthcare benefits to the union on October 14, according to the IAMAW website. The union said  it would have been large increases to out of pocket expenses and premiums.
As for wages, Raytheon's initial proposal would have not given employees raises in 2015 and only small raises the year after that, according to the union. 
The union and Raytheon reached a tentative agreement on October 23. 

"Raytheon is pleased union members have ratified a new three-year labor contract. Together we will continue to produce the world's best weapons and other solutions for our warfighters and customers around the globe," said John Patterson, spokesman for Raytheon.

Raytheon employes about 10,000 people in Tucson, making it southern Arizona's largest private employer.