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Electric Boat draftsmen agree to new contract

In the midst of a public health pandemic that has slowed the economy and seen large numbers of employees lose their jobs, the union that represents designers, draftsmen, technical aides and engineering support administrative personnel working in Electric Boat’s shipyard recently agreed to a new contract that gives the 2,400 members annual raises over the next four years.

Members of the Marine Draftsmen Association - United Auto Workers, Local 571 voted 1,015 to 456 to accept the contract, which spans from Oct. 10 through April 4, 2025.

“We really didn’t lose anything especially during this time,” said union president Bill Louis. “I want to thank the negotiating committee and the company both for working together with the interests of our members and bringing a good contract back to the MDA-UAW Local 571.”

Andrew Bond, EB’s vice president of human resources and administration, in a statement also thanked the bargaining committees for their work negotiating the new contract.

“EB and the MDA arrived at an agreement that shows the high value placed on the contributions our employees make to delivering on our mission of designing, constructing and maintaining the most capable submarines in the world. The 54-month collective bargaining agreement offers enhanced wages, benefits and employee flexibility.”

EB has remained open throughout the coronavirus pandemic as an essential business doing work for the U.S. Navy. About 4,000 of the company’s 17,000 employees are working remotely, according to company spokesman Liz Power. Louis said about 400 MDA members are among those working from home. The new contract allows members, whose job is able to be done at home and who are given approval by management, to continue to work from home.

“They’ve been doing a great job,” Louis said. “They’ve been showing the company that we can produce and get their jobs done from home, which is why they’re able to continue to do that.”

The contract includes general wage increases of 3% in 2021 and in 2022, 3.1% in 2023, and 3.2% in 2024. Members employed on the day the new pact was ratified get a $1,000 signing bonus. Those without a pension earn another $1,000 bonus in March of next year.

Effective at the start of next year, employees not covered by the union’s pension plan will transition to a new 401k plan, in which the company matches $1 for $1 up to 6% of pay. 

j.bergman@theday.com

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