Collins Aerospace workers locked out


By Sam Wildow

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TROY — Collins Aerospace locked out nearly 300 employees on Sunday following contract negotiations, according to UAW members.

UAW members and protesters gathered near the entrance of Collins Aerospace in Troy on Monday, explaining they are willing to work while negotiations continued, but instead, they were locked out.

“We’ve been locked out by Collins Aerospace,” said Nick Tomanelli, UAW Local 128 chairman. “All of these hardworking men and women are more than happy to go to work right now, but they’ve chosen to lock us out.”

Tomanelli said his negotiating committee and himself were willing to sit down with Collins Aerospace and continue negotiations.

“They refuse, and they chose to lock us out,” Tomanelli said. “We’re willing to work, and we’re willing to talk.”

Collins Aerospace, a Raytheon Technologies subsidiary, manufactures aerospace and defense products. The business is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C.

“Collins Aerospace is prepared to continue negotiating in good faith with UAW Local 128 and seeks to reach an agreement that recognizes and rewards our employees’ contributions while allowing us to remain competitive,” a representative for Collins Aerospace said in a statement.

The UAW, which is the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, released a statement explaining the lockout occurred following UAW Local 128 members voting down Collins Aerospace’s last, best, and final offer during the negotiations process.

“UAW members at Collins Aerospace go to work every day to make quality parts for aerospace and defense that are vital to the American public. In return, they ask for a fair contract to protect and raise their families. After receiving a last, best, and final offer on February 16, UAW members voted overwhelmingly Saturday 230 to 37 against the company’s offer,” the UAW’s statement said. “UAW Local 128 members have been told that they will be locked out by Collins Aerospace at midnight Sunday, instead of the company in good faith trying to collectively bargain with their employees for adequate pay, benefits, and health and safety provisions. UAW members are clear that they have offered to work while continuing to bargain.”

The UAW statement also asked for support from the community, saying, “It is a slap in the face to the Local 128 members, their families, and the community that Collins refuses to continue bargaining in good faith and choose the route of hardship for their own employees and their families. We ask that Collins return to the table in good faith and respect the collective bargaining rights of their employees. And we ask the community to support our members during this difficult time.”

A total of 297 employees were locked out and some of employees locked out have worked for the company for over 40 years, UAW Local 128 members said. Members said they were also deemed essential workers and worked through the pandemic lockdowns. Contract negotiations between UAW Local 128 and Collins Aerospace are usually every three years, but they have recently been happening every five years, a member said.

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