Labor Strike At Eaton-Cobham In Quad-Cities Ends, 400 Workers Back on Job

Photo courtesy of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM)

The labor strike at Eaton-Cobham Mission Systems in the Quad Cities ended Tuesday night after an agreement was reached between workers and management.

More than 400 workers affiliated with Machinists Union Locals 388 and 1191, collectively District 6 and based at the Davenport facility, had been on strike since mid-February.

The union locals are part of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), which represents around 600,000 workers in North America working in the aerospace, defense, airline, railroad, transit, health care, and automotive industries.

In a release Tuesday night, IAM said the new agreement “includes improved wages and other items that will positively affect our members, their families, and the community,” without going into details.

”We are proud of our members for standing strong and fighting for a contract to improve their lives,” IAM said. “Our members build world-class products at Eaton Mission Systems. They look forward to getting back to work beginning [Wednesday].”

An IAM spokesperson did not yet have details of the contract Wednesday morning or a breakdown of the vote.

Union officials had previously told local news outlets that better health care and retirement benefits, as well as higher wages, were being sought by workers. They previously voted down the contract twice by wide margins — the first was rejected in late February by 98% of membership, while another in early March was rejected by 97% of members.

Eaton, a Dublin-based power management company that began in 1911, operates in 175 countries and has 85,000 employees. In 2021, it had approximately $19.6 billion in sales.

It acquired Cobham Mission Systems, a defense and aerospace company, last year for $2.83 billion. That included the Davenport facility — one of the Quad-City region’s largest employers, with around 950 workers.

Eaton spokesperson Katie Kennedy said in an email the company was “pleased to have reached a mutually satisfactory agreement and are happy to have the employees who were on strike return to work.”

She added the 33-day strike affected a “significant portion of the workforce” in Davenport, and praised the non-union employees that continued working.

“We also want to extend our appreciation to the Davenport employees who went above and beyond to ensure we were able to continue to operate safely and deliver quality product to meet our customer commitments,” Kennedy said.

This story was updated 3/25 to add comments from Eaton.

 

By Amie Rivers
03/23/22

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