Wyman-Gordon manufactures rotating closed-die forgings for aerospace and land-based gas turbines, and structural forgings for airframe, nuclear, petrochemical, power generation, and space applications.

Wyman-Gordon Workers Strike in Houston

Sept. 1, 2017
Expired contract sends 271 machinists out in protest against proposed cuts to benefits

In the week before southeastern Texas was incapacitated by Hurricane Harvey, one of the most prominent forging operations in the region faced a different sort of outage. A contract expiration on August 21 sent 271 members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers on strike against Wyman-Gordon in Houston, according to local reports. As reported by the union, the strike action was preceded by several weeks of negotiation toward a new contract.

Wyman-Gordon, a business unit of Precision Castparts Corp., has not commented on the contract or the labor situation.

The Houston operation produces closed-die forgings for aerospace and energy markets. It includes a 12,000-ton horizontal extrusion press; 20,000-ton closed-die press; 29,000-ton closed-die press; and 35,000-ton vertical extrusion press.

The expansive operation also offers product design services, tool and die machining, heat treating, and destructive and non-destructive product testing and inspection.

A local report claimed the company proposed a contract that would reduce compensation for short- and long-term disability by 10%, limit employees’ short-term disability eligibility to six months, and long-term disability to 18 months. The previous contract allowed workers to remain on long-term disability until age 65.

According to the same report, the company also is seeking shorter work breaks. Further, the proposed contract would reduce entry-level employee pay and freeze all wage increases for three years.

“Cuts in long- and short-term disability options, a wage system for new hires that prevents future earnings, unsafe working conditions, and stagnating wages – all of this is unacceptable to a workforce who has spent an average of 15 to 20 years at this company,” according to a statement by IAMAW Southern general vice president Mark A. Blondin.