The 39-day strike by Eaton-Cobham Mission Systems workers in Davenport ends


A 39-day strike by a defense contractor in Davenport ended Tuesday.

DeLane Adams, spokesman for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, said in a statement that about 400 employees will return to work at Eaton-Cobham Mission Systems as of Wednesday morning. Adams said workers would get “better wages” but didn’t say how much more money members will make.

“We are proud of our members who are strong and fighting for a contract to improve their lives,” Adams said. “…We would like to thank the Quad Cities community for their engagement and support throughout this process.”

Eaton spokeswoman Katie Kennedy said the contract will run for five years. Compared to the old contract, the new contract includes “more vacation, more scheduling security and flexibility as well as additional vacation”.

Before: The Davenport plant says striking union workers are crossing pickets while the company hires replacements

“Staff will return to work tomorrow to continue serving our customers and our community,” she said in an email.

Members of IAM Locals 388 and 1191 went on strike on February 18 after 98% rejected a tentative agreement with the company. John Herrig, business representative for IAM Lodge 6, said at the time that the company was offering “below average wages” and was calling for cuts in health care and pension benefits. Kennedy told the Des Moines Register in February that the company’s proposals were “consistent with national market trends.”

After the union said in early March that more than 90% of workers had rejected a possible second contract, an Eaton executive wrote in a letter warning that the company would be hiring permanent replacements. Kennedy told the registry March 16 that the company had hired 20 backup workers.

More: While the John Deere strike raised the profile and popularity of unions, membership in Iowa has stagnated

At the time, she said the union was offering a new proposal that Eaton executives would consider.

A spokesman for the union did not immediately respond to an email Tuesday asking what percentage of members approved of the deal.

Workers at the Davenport factory make products for defense contractors including The Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. ago, mainly on-board refueling systems.

Ireland-based Eaton, which makes power products like steering systems, motors and brakes, bought Cobham for $2.8 billion in June. Eaton reported earnings of $2.15 billion last fiscal year, up from $1.42 billion a year earlier.

Prior to its acquisition by Eaton, Cobham reported annual sales of approximately $700 million.

Tyler Jett covers jobs and the economy for the Des Moines Register. Reach him below [email protected]515-284-8215, or on Twitter at @LetsJett.

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