A message from Jim Haynes, Consolidated Nuclear Security President and CEO, and Morgan Smith, CNS COO to employees.
The Pantex Metal Trades Council (MTC) has notified us that its membership voted last Thursday to not ratify the company’s proposal for a new labor agreement. The current collective bargaining agreement with the MTC expired at midnight Friday, and the MTC has chosen to strike.
We and the rest of the CNS senior management team have great respect for the work performed by the dedicated employees of Pantex and Y-12. Across a broad array of jobs and functions, we all serve critical roles on the front lines of global nuclear security. Our nation depends on us to do our job with excellence every day. The sense of importance and responsibility is very tangible to us, as is the pride that we see in all of you, your families, and the community when it comes to our role protecting and serving this great nation. Our MTC-represented employees equally share in this pride and service to the nation, and we ask that everyone respect them during this difficult time.
Our responsibility to the nation always hinges on a unique balance. We do very special things for the nation, things that no one else does, and we expect to be recognized for this. At the same time, our work is accomplished spending taxpayer dollars and it is incumbent upon each of us to be good stewards of the funds entrusted to us to do our work and to ensure a sustainable future for our sites. Tax dollars are used for all aspects of our work, including funding programs, engineering, research, procurements, maintenance, security, safety, other essential business functions, as well as employees’ salaries and benefits. Therefore, the challenge is to appropriately balance the recognition of the roles of our employees in accomplishing our unique mission while being respectful of taxpayer funds.
Throughout this contract, it has been our sincere desire to maintain wages and benefits that appropriately recognize the important work performed at our sites. However, as has been stated in prior communications, our initial set of changes had greater impact on those involved than was originally anticipated. We are in the process of rolling out an upgraded package for next year in an effort to improve this situation. We worked to reflect this revised approach in the MTC package so that we remain in a very strong position when compared to other industries in the sites’ regions and across the country, including pension programs and other benefits.
We are disappointed that we were not able to achieve an agreement with the MTC. We have acted in good faith with the MTC negotiating team and attempted to find the balance discussed above between rewards and our responsibility to the taxpayers. It is a priority to work together with the MTC to promote the health, safety, and professional growth of its members as well as the long-term viability of Pantex and the local community. After nearly seven months of negotiations, however, our efforts to map out a new contract, resolve identified issues, and stretch our ability to enhance certain areas of the proposal have not resulted in an agreement. We revised our best and final offer last Thursday to what we understood would best achieve the desires and constraints of all parties, and with the strike, we now know that there remains a disconnect between what we are in a position to provide and what MTC members desire.
Pantex will operate in a safe and stable mode this week and throughout the work stoppage. We know this work stoppage will create extra responsibilities requiring additional time for many of you, and we sincerely appreciate your willingness to fill in where needed to keep the plant functioning. We ask that you be mindful of the importance of your role and seek to perform it with the safety, security, quality, and overall excellence that our nation requires. As always, we thank you for your dedication and service to our nation. We will keep you informed as the contract situation with the MTC continues to develop.
Jim Haynes, President and CEO
Morgan Smith, COO
Work at Pantex continues after CNS was informed by the MTC that its membership voted not to ratify the company’s proposal for a new labor agreement. Work will be available for all employees, including employees represented by the Metal Trades Council. Each MTC employee is facing difficult personal decisions in exercising their legal right to choose to continue reporting to work, and they deserve everyone’s respect throughout this process. Respect in the workplace is a vital element of the CNS Code of Conduct, which provides for a safe and supportive environment where all employees can work free from unlawful intimidation, discrimination, and harassment of any kind. CNS expects all employees to continue to comply with this Code of Conduct and applicable labor laws.
Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC (CNS) managing and operating contractor of Pantex, held a hiring event Aug. 8 at the Amarillo College Business and Industry Center. Thanks to partnerships with the Texas Workforce Solutions Panhandle and Amarillo College, the first‑of‑its‑kind hiring event for Pantex was a success.
Workforce Solutions Panhandle helped spread the word through social media that Pantex was looking to fill more than 100 open positions. Would be job‑seekers from as far away as Florida and Arizona made their way to Amarillo for the chance of landing a job at Pantex.
Hiring managers screened and interviewed candidates for jobs in accounting, engineering, emergency management, information technology, maintenance, medical, production, quality, radiation safety, supply chain and utilities.
CNS Director of Workforce Strategies Heather Freeman said they were very pleased with the turnout, with potential employees lining up in droves for a Pantex job.
“The event was a success because we were able to meet and interview so many local, regional and out‑of‑state candidates. Hiring managers conducted about 175 interviews on‑the‑spot,” she said. These new jobs would add to the 3,100 people the Plant already employs.
Job offers have already been extended and accepted for several positions. In fact, the majority of offers are expected to be sent out within the next two weeks.
“We were very pleased with the response to the event and expect to make offers over the next two weeks from candidates we interviewed at the event. Additionally, we have begun scheduling on‑site interviews for candidates we met at the event, but were not able to interview that day,” added Freeman.
Plans for future hiring events haven’t been finalized yet, but with the amount of interest shown at the initial offering, organizers will consider holding more of these events to find qualified candidates to help carry out the important Pantex mission.
“We will definitely consider doing like events in the future,” Freeman said.
About 40 Cub and Boy Scouts from Amarillo recently had the chance to tour the Pantex visitor’s center and learn more about the history of the plant and its mission.
The scouts, from Troops 86 and 702, are part of the Golden Spread Council, and executive scout assistant Bob Altman said this kind of opportunity will have long reaching effects.
“We’re thrilled to be able to come out here. These young men are excited to be here, and you never know what seed was planted in the minds of these scouts. They may even work out here someday. This is really a great opportunity for them.”
Along with the tour, the Golden Spread council received a check for $1,000 from Consolidated Nuclear Security in support of their organization.
Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC was a proud corporate sponsor of the recent Women of Distinction award luncheon hosted by Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains. The event is an annual celebration of influential women in the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles who support Girl Scout leadership programs.
Pantex Site Manager Michelle Reichert (third from right) was joined at the Girl Scouts Women of Distinction award luncheon by Pantexans Jessie Phifer, Halianne Crawford, Brandy Ramirez, Courtney Waddell, Mig Owens, Rebecca Heinen and Christa Glasgow
Savannah Gates, a former Pantex process engineer, was honored with the Discover Award for her work on a tiny house project. Gates, along with Pantex engineers Rebecca Heinen, Brandy Ramirez and Courtney Waddell, joined forces with Girl Scouts and community volunteers to turn an old camper into a tiny home for a woman in need. Pantexans have also demonstrated their commitment to Girl Scouts through the S’More Engineering and Smart Cookies programs.
Savannah Gates, former Pantex engineer, accepts the Discover Award at the Girl Scouts Women of Distinction Award luncheon.