Machinists’ Accord Ends Convair Strike

Times Staff Writer

Striking machinists reached a tentative agreement Wednesday with General Dynamics’ Convair Division, ending a 3 1/2-week walkout at the defense plant.

Convair spokesman Jack Isabel said the new agreement was reached at 4:30 a.m. after a negotiating session that began Tuesday morning. International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers’ officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but Isabel said that union officials will recommend ratification of the contract when machinists, who walked out on July 19, vote on the proposal at 10 a.m. today.

The Convair Division in San Diego, which employs 4,000 machinists, manufactures the Tomahawk cruise missile and the Atlas Centaur rocket for the Pentagon, and is a subcontractor for the DC-10 commercial airliner.


Isabel said IAM negotiators agreed Tuesday to the wage and benefits package proposed by the company in its “best and final offer” July 14. The package includes lump-sum increases that total $4,800 over the three years of the contract. In July, IAM officials had called for general wage increases and had rejected the company’s lump-sum offer as inadequate.

The machinists had rejected the company’s contract proposals in two separate votes July 18 and July 26.

Despite the new agreement, “a major area of concern” to both sides involves the return of striking workers whose jobs were filled by non-union workers hired by Convair during the three-week strike, Isabel said. IAM spokesman Tom Roberts said last week there would be no strike agreement unless all union workers go back to work.

But according to a joint statement issued by both sides and read by Isabel, the union and Convair agreed on the “creation of a recall list for an undetermined number of workers for whom no jobs are currently available.”

Throughout the strike, the IAM was hampered by union machinists who chose to cross the picket line as the dispute dragged on. In addition, Convair hired 556 non-union workers.