Bell Helicopter Settles with Local UAW Union in Texas
Members of United Auto Workers Local 218 have ratified a new five-year contract with Bell Helicopter (Booth No. C9343). The five-year pact covers 2,500 machinists and other manufacturing workers in Texas.
Union members had been working at Bell since June without a contract as negotiations over health care and pension benefits bogged down. They staged a one-day strike September 5.
While details of the new agreement were not made public, sources close to the negotiations said it included a bonus for employees and changes to the company retirement plan. Union workers had earned an average base compensation of $66,500 before the new agreement. The contract was ratified by 93 percent of members during a vote October 13.
Bell CEO John Garrison said he was “pleased” with the new agreement and said it would allow the company “to continue to compete in the competitive, global marketplace.”
Bell Helicopter employs 10,500 people worldwide, 7,000 of those in the Fort Worth metroplex area. UAW 218 had previously struck Bell in 2009 for five weeks.