Tag Archives: union

ULA workers go on strike

ULA’s workers went on strike today, their union rejecting the company’s final contract offer.

A major point of contention, the union said, were changes made to the contracts that offered employees less general flexibility, most notably when it comes to travel. Teams often travel between Vandenberg and the Cape to support missions, such as Saturday’s successful Atlas V launch of NASA’s InSight spacecraft now bound for Mars.

“A big part of it is how they have people travel from different locations to launch,” said Jody Bennett, chief of staff and aerospace negotiator for the union. “It doesn’t give them a lot of family time. They can force you to pack up, leave and go someplace for 30 days.”

“A month away from home is a long time, especially if it’s forced on you,” Bennett said, noting that travel beyond 30 days is voluntary.

This travel clause might relate to ULA’s effort to compete with SpaceX. They have trimmed their workforce, which means they might need to bring workers in from other locations when they do a launch, rather than hire more at each launch location and have them on standby all the time.

Either way, the timing of the strike is interesting, as it arrives just after a launch with the next ULA launch not scheduled until the end of July. It seems everyone, both company and union, have timed this to do as little harm to the company as possible.

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Labor strikes force Arianespace to suspend all French Guiana launches

Arianespace today announced that it is suspending all launches from French Guiana indefinitely while it works out the labor problems that surfaced this week with wildcat strikes.

Arianespace chief executive Stephane Israel tweeted Wednesday that officials will set a new target launch date as soon as possible.

The delay will likely cause Arianespace to push back the following launch from French Guiana. Once the Ariane 5 takes off, a Russian-made Soyuz rocket is next in line at the tropical space base, slated to loft the Boeing-built SES 15 communications satellite into orbit to provide in-flight Internet connectivity for airline passengers, and support government, networking and maritime customers across North America. SES 15 also hosts a payload for the FAA’s Wide-Area Augmentation System to enhance airline navigation and safety across the United States.

Liftoff of SES 15 was scheduled for April 4, but it takes nearly two weeks to reconfigure the French Guiana spaceport and downrange tracking stations between launches.

These problems play into the hands of Arianespace’s competitors, SpaceX, the Russians, and ULA.

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The Michigan union contract that required a school district to discriminiate against Christians and whites as now been amended so that it won’t discriminate against Christians.

Partial victory: The Michigan union contract that required a school district to discriminiate against Christians and whites as now been amended so that it won’t discriminate against Christians.

I am not for favoring whites. I am against anything that considers ethnicity or religion as a factor for employment.

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Washington union held in contempt for terminal violence

Union civility: A union in Washington state has been held in contempt for the violence that took place during a protest at a grain terminal. Some testimony:

Security guard Charlie Cadwell, employed by Columbia Security for patrols at the Longview grain terminal for the past two months, told the judge of the harrowing experience: Every protester he saw that night was carrying a weapon – baseball bats, lead pipes, garden tools. “I didn’t see a longshoreman who didn’t have something in his hands,” he said.

He was was pulled out of his car by one longshoreman, and another man swung a metal pipe at him, he said. “I told him, ‘You have 50 cameras on you and law enforcement is on its way,'” Cadwell said. “He said, ‘(expletive) you. We’re not here for you, we’re here for the train.'”

In the meantime, someone drove off with his car and eventually ran it into a ditch. Cadwell said about 40 to 50 people were throwing rocks at him, and that he was hit between his eyes and in his knee.

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