Union workers at Fincantieri Marinette Marine picket over pay, benefits

Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 10:12 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2021 at 10:20 PM CST
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MARINETTE, Wis. (WBAY) - Fincantieri Marinette Marine is one of the largest employers in Northeast Wisconsin.

Yet, union employees represented by Local Boilermakers 696 say they are making less money than what even local retailers pay.

“We’re losing union members to other jobs locally because they get paid better,” Matt Moses of Boilermakers 696 said. “A lot of people can go to the subcontracting company and get paid more. I know we’ve lost almost 200 people in the last two years.”

More than two dozen employees participated in a protest along Main St, near Fincantieri. Several vehicles honked in support of those picketing with some even waving their hands outside their windows in a show of solidarity.

In a statement to Action 2 News, Fincantieri said it has reached an agreement with the Local Brotherhood of Boilermakers that will be “voted on by the union membership next month.”

Moses and other members aren’t satisfied with that agreement that’s going before a union vote on December 11.

According to the union, employees in the last five years have received a 5% raise with no raises in the past two years as their health insurance has risen 19%.

Another sticking point for Boilermakers is Fincantieri discussed reforming seniority for union workers when it comes to shifts, making them work 12 hour shifts on the weekends as oppose to eight hours Monday through Friday.

“The company doesn’t seem to want to move in any direction. We’ve been told the last two contracts that it’s their last best final offer. We don’t feel that it’s fair,” Moses said.

Union employees have been working without a contract since July of 2020 and accused the company of hiring out of state sub-contractors.

“Some of them, I’m not saying all of them. Some of them almost get $10 an hour more than us,” Moses said.

Fincantieri is in the midst of building the most advanced frigate in the world.

Last year, the United States Department of Defense awarded the company $800 million to build the first-in-class guided missile frigate. In May of this year, Fincantieri was awarded another $553.8 million to build a second one for the U.S. Navy.

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