IUOE Local 99 on Tuesday night took their first strike vote in more than 20 years. The union hall was packed to near-capacity with members frustrated by contentious – and thus far fruitless -- negotiations with AECOM, Local 99’s largest signatory. The majority of the AECOM employees work in local top-secret facilities. The company is demanding significant givebacks and what will ultimately be a two-tiered contract that would eliminate pensions for new hires and would leave workers hired after July 15th paying twice as much for healthcare as their co-workers. “If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat,” said one longtime Local 99 member during a long debate over whether to authorize a strike. Nevertheless, the vote in favor of a strike was unanimous and allows Local 99’s Executive Board to call a strike at any time after giving legal notice. Local 99 plans to begin picketing immediately as part of a pending Unfair Labor Practice charge filed with the National Labor Relations Board. “This is not the course we wished to take, but the aggressive and regressive bargaining position of the employer has tied our hands,” said Local 99 Business Manager Michael R. Murphy.
DC LABORFest 2021