TULLAHOMA, Tenn. (WTVF) — Hundreds of workers of the Air Engineering Metal Trades Council (AEMTC) are on strike at the Arnold Air Force Base in Tullahoma, claiming unfair labor practices by the National Aerospace Solutions (NAS).
NAS holds the Test Operations and Sustainment contract with the United States Air Force at the Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC), according to Tullahoma News.
The current Collective Bargaining Agreement expired at 11 p.m. on June 30, 2021. And the AEMTC strike began July 2. AEMTC employs nearly 700 workers, however, not all of them are striking.
NAS General Manager Richard Tighe, Ph.D. said in a press release he was hopeful the two parties could reach an agreement and that work would continue in the meantime.
“NAS remains hopeful negotiations will come to a positive conclusion with a vote to ratify the new agreement by AEMTC membership. In the meantime, NAS operations at AEDC will remain safe and productive. We will continue to focus on the daily priorities of safety, security, quality mission delivery and efficiency. ”
But several days later, a Collective Bargaining Agreement has still not been reached. On Thursday, about two dozen people camped outside under canopies and held signs.
Air Engineering Metal Trades Council (AEMTC) President Alvin Cleek said, "Well, we are still holding strong right now. We are just trying to get a fair contract. We don’t want to be outside. The community has been feeding us and bringing water. The last [strike] was in 1990."
Communications Director Alyssa Hansen released the following statement:
"The Tennessee AFL-CIO stands in solidarity with our AEMTC brothers and sisters who are asking for dignity and respect on the job. Many of these workers face dangerous conditions while performing tasks that play an important role in our nation’s safety and security. We call on NAS to come to the bargaining table and ensure that a fair agreement is reached quickly. The state federation and its affiliates are ready and willing to assist our labor family as needed.”
As of Thursday night, officials say NAS offered a revised last, best, and final proposal to the AEMTC. AEMTC leadership has indicated they plan to schedule a ratification vote on the proposal for Friday evening.