Machinists at Hytek Finishes narrowly approve 4-year contract
March 3, 2013 · 7:44 PM
For the Reporter
Machinists Union members at Hytek Finishes in Kent have narrowly approved a new four-year contract.
The Machinists approved the contract with a 52-percent "yes" vote Thursday, less than a week after they had voted by a nearly 3-to-1 margin Saturday to reject the company's previous contract offer and authorize a strike. The second contract needed only a simple majority for approval.
The second contract provides greater flexibility for the members to divert money into a health savings plan to help pay for the the company's high-cost health care plan, said Kevin Cummings, the union's lead negotiator.
It also retains one of the strongest portions of the original offer: a new wage schedule that raises minimum pay for Hytek workers and provides them a clear path for future raises and promotions.
That was another priority for members during negotiations, Cummings said, and it will raise the pay of some members by as much as $3 an hour.
"The new contract is a step in the right direction, and it lays a foundation for the future for workers at Hytek," said Tom Wroblewski, the president of Machinists Union District Lodge 751.
District 751 represents more than 180 hourly workers at Hytek, who do metal coating and finishing work on aircraft parts. They provide parts for all of Boeing's widebody jets – the 787, 747-8, 777 and 767 – and for the Pentagon's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.