Tentative five-year contract agreement at Y-12; 1,100 workers to vote on Thursday

y12overviewThe Atomic Trades and Labor Council, which represents about 1,100 union workers at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, has reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract.

The ATLC reached the tentative pact with Consolidated Nuclear Security — the government’s managing contractor at Y-12 — after four weeks of negotiations.

ATLC President Steve Jones said the two parties reached a tentative agreement on Monday. He said the labor group’s negotiating committee, which includes a representative from each of the 13 unions, has recommended approval of the proposed contract. Jones declined to discuss details of the proposed contract until after the vote.

The rank-and-file workforce will vote Thursday on whether to ratify the new contract. The voting will take place at the Machinists Union Hall in Oak Ridge from 12:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Jones characterized the negotiations with CNS as civil, but not easy.

“We worked really hard for four weeks,” he said. “We passed quite a few proposals back and forth across the table. There were some hard issues that we worked through. We didn’t agree on everything.”

If the new agreement is ratified Thursday, the new contract will take effect Dec. 8 and expire on June 22, 2020.

This is the ATLC’s first contract negotiation with CNS, a Bechtel-led corporate team that took over operations at Y-12 and Pantex, another nuclear weapons facility in Texas, on July 1, 2014 under a combined management contract.

Union workers at Pantex approved a new labor contract with CNS in early October, ending a bitter five-week strike at the warhead assembly/disassembly plant.

The prolonged negotiations at Pantex delayed the start of contract talks at Y-12 for months.

The existing labor contract at Y-12 was extended multiple times, and union workers at the Oak Ridge site received a $1,250 payment in September to compensate them for the long wait.

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About Frank Munger

Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.