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Mon, Jun 16, 2003

Bell-Textron, UAW Reach Critical Contract Deal

Bonuses, Pension Improvements, V-22 All On Table

Bell Helicopter Textron Inc production and maintenance workers, members of the United Aerospace Workers Local 218, agreed Sunday to accept a new three year contract with the company. Union officials notified Bell of the acceptance vote at approximately 4:00 p.m. CDT.

Bell's Executive Vice President of Administration, P.D. Shabay, congratulated union members on their new contract.  "Working together as partners we look forward to going into full rate production on the V-22 Osprey and the H-1 Helicopter Upgrade programs," Shabay added. Donald White, Chairman of UAW, Local 218 said, "This was a very difficult negotiation, but we are all pleased with the results and look forward to creating value for our customers."

The contract calls for a ratification bonus of $1,700 to be paid  on June 26, 2003.  A general increase of 2% will be granted on June 13, 2005. Cost-of-living adjustments will be granted quarterly based on changes in the three-month average of the consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. Group insurance, life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment, accident and sickness weekly benefit and health care benefits will have minor changes from those specified in the previous contract. The basic monthly pension rate of the basic pension formula for employees retiring on or after September 1, 2003, under the Early or Normal Retirement provisions of the Plan, increased to $51.00 (currently $46.00) per year of credited service. The Agreement also calls for Bell to become a smoke free facility on January 1, 2004.

Bell and the UAW also signed an Employee Involvement agreement in which they agree to work together to deliver to their customers the highest quality and best value products and services in the industry. The contract affects approximately 1900 Bell employees. Three smaller locals, representing the security force, some administrative workers and some engineering personnel, will renegotiate their existing contracts with Bell over the next two months.


FMI: www.bellhelicopter.textron.com

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