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Space program workers vote to strike in FL and elsewhere

Strikes are a common tactic for employees in Florida and across the country to make their voices heard and to negotiate more favorable terms with their employers. A strike can be an effective way to settle a contract dispute, but it may also create hardships for workers who do not make a wage while protesting, or for businesses that rely on them.

Recently, hundreds of employees of United Launch Alliance voted to strike after they rejected a contract offer by the company, one of the world’s foremost entities involved in sending vessels to explore space. The employees, members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, said they have numerous reasons for the strike, including the desire to feel respected and valued in their work as many feel the company is replacing them with subcontractors. They may strike in the three ULA locations in Alabama, California and Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Employees might strike for any reason, but the most common ones include disputing low wages or breaches of contract, protesting an unfair disparity in pay between lesser employees and executives or speaking out against abusive practices or policies in the workplace. Employees might also strike if they are tired of being forced to work in unsafe or inhumane conditions or if they feel like their voices and opinions are being ignored by their employers.

The outcome of the IAM strike remains to be seen. Spokespeople from ULA say that the recent contract bid is not only fair, but is the final offer.

Source: Spaceflight Insider, "Hundreds strike over contract dispute with ULA," Christopher Paul, May 8, 2018

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