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JMTC Workers Object to New Contract

 a worker at the JMTC on Arsenal Island
a worker at the JMTC on Arsenal Island

Some workers on Arsenal Island are unhappy about their new contract, saying it was forced on them by management.

Members of Local 21-19 of the American Federation of Government Employees were notified Monday the contract would take effect, even though they say they did not agree to it.

Union Chief Steward Tim Russell represents 400 workers at the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center. He says as federal workers they can only negotiate safety, policies, and procedures, but are not allowed to strike.

All they can do is file an unfair labor practices complaint.

"That's the only recourse we have is to file this paperwork to try to help out these 400-plus workers, but the time it takes to fix this problem could be well past a year."

Russell thinks the union should be able to negotiate management rights, instead of being forced on workers.

"And it's not necessarily that they have to give those rights up, that management would have to give those rights up. It is that they would have to at least sit down and negotiate them with the union now. It doesn't mean that they were going to change but it just means they have to be negotiated instead of being a non-negotiable subject."

When contacted for comment, a spokesperson for the JMTC said, quote, "leadership remains committed to our employees interests and the accomplishment of the RIA-JMTC mission."