UAW approves pact for raises, 2-tier pay at Martin Marietta

November 13, 1990

Members of the United Autoworkers at Martin Marietta Corp., including 550 workers at the Middle River aerospace plant, have overwhelmingly approved a three-year contract that will raise wages 4 percent this year and an additional 3 percent next year.

The contract, which also provides two lump-sum payments, creates at Middle River a two-tier wage scale that will pay lower rates for certain jobs on some contracts.

The pact, covering 5,800 Martin Marietta employees in three states, was approved by almost 90 percent of those voting over the weekend, the union said.

Effective Nov. 5, the contract calls for increases in sick pay insurance, improved pension benefits, higher life insurance, an employee-assistance program and expansion of the health-care options to include health maintenance organization and preferred provider plans.

The contract will cover 550 active workers at Middle River and about 800 laid-off employees who are eligible for recall there, said Patrick Kaisler, vice president of Local 738.

Almost 1,000 workers have been laid off at the Baltimore County facility over the past two years, he said, and further cutbacks are expected as production lines on major contracts are closed for modifications.

To ease the plight of laid-off employees, Local 738 agreed to creation of a lower wage scale for lower-skilled jobs to enable the plant to bid competitively on contracts that have been lost over the years to non-union manufacturers.

The new "Unit 7" wages would be about $4 an hour less than main scale but would provide full benefits and maintain seniority for those recalled to those jobs, Mr. Kaisler explained. The union reserved the right to approve or veto use of the second-tier scale on a contract-by-contract basis.

Hourly wages at the plant average between $12 and $13. The new agreement calls for an immediate wage increase averaging 4 percent and another increase in a year averaging 3 percent. It also provides two lump-sum payments: One equal to 2 percent of wages will be paid next month, and another equal to 6 percent of wages will be paid in December 1992.

The new UAW contract also covers Martin Marietta workers at Denver and Orlando, Fla.

A Martin Marietta spokesman at headquarters in Bethesda said the contract terms were satisfactory to both parties.

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