Sisters and Brothers,
In my last letter to you I spoke about how Raytheon would be reducing the headcount in certain classifications and as I write this, we have completed the layoff and recall for the affected members. The final number was 83 initial layoffs with 67 going to the street. Almost all of those 67 members are now back to work after adjusting their recall rights and taking positions on new shifts. We had one member refuse recall and two restricted themselves so that they don’t get called back. We are also still currently working on two affected members who had less than 90 days in the company.
Raytheon assured us before we even started the process that their program used to process layoffs was fully functional – to which we quickly learned was not true. From the very beginning we had trouble processing members to which the company had little compassion, they were more worried about just getting the process done than making sure it was done correctly. The members of Local 1505 should be thankful that we have a great team of Chief Stewards and Assistant Business Managers who made sure the process was handled correctly, if not for them I’m confident that the company would still be working out how to properly handle this layoff. As with any layoff this big and far stretching, we will be going back over all of the paperwork to make sure that nobody’s rights were violated, and we will file grievances if necessary. I would also like to highlight that we now have going forward “soft landing” language for anyone who goes from the A to C classifications as happened in this layoff with the sheet metal and weld classifications. This will greatly cushion the blow of such a dramatic drop in pay. I want to mention one last issue about these layoffs, I find it very disheartening that there are certain segments of our membership who put the blame for these layoffs on my administration. We don’t ever want to see anyone lose their jobs and we have fought for a year now to try and keep this from happening, but ultimately Raytheon decided to make these cuts.
I would also like to take a minute to let the membership know that sign-ups for this years VLO’s have begun and will run through April 14th with the last day of work being on May 26th, 2023. There will be openings for 20 production members and up to 15 members of facilities. I believe that we may be able to get more than the negotiated 20 VLO’s for production depending on what classifications they are coming from and how much work the departments have. Our benefits counselor, Kianni Bun will be handling the VLO sign-ups this year, so please give her a call at 978-470-6029 to schedule a time to come to her office to sign up and she can answer any questions that you might have. My team and I fought vehemently to try and secure another 24-week VLO for both production and facilities, in the end the company agreed to offer 24-week VLO’s for facilities only. This decision was made to make sure that members are treated equally as facilities was not offered the 24-week VLO last October like the members of the production side were. The members of the production side that want to sign up for this round of VLO’s will be given the normal contractual benefits. While I was able to get the 24 weeks for facilities, we need to have more conversations with the company about the future of the facilities classifications in Local 1505 moving forward. I will be meeting with facilities management this spring about what the future holds for those classifications, I am hoping that it will not lead to reductions in those classifications.
On a lighter note, I would like to invite everyone to the Saint Patrick’s Day party this Saturday night at the Bunting club in Lowell from 5:00 – 10:00PM. If you would like to go please see your area steward for tickets. I hope to see everyone there.
Sisters and Brothers,