Altria's operating companies provide well-paying manufacturing and production jobs for employees in 8 states. We respect the rights of our companies’ employees who choose to be represented by a union. In fact, 30 percent of employees within our family of companies were covered by collective bargaining agreements at the end of 2019.
Altria's operating companies have an open dialogue and collaborate with hourly employees and unions representing them. Most hourly employees operate in a team environment where they’re accountable for identifying and addressing issues affecting day-to-day work. In 2019, two of our PM USA instrument electricians were selected by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry as Outstanding Apprentices. Apprenticeships train up a pipeline of competent and skilled craftspeople, helping close the skilled trade gap and an example of how we partner with our hourly workforce to develop future talent, as well as with community partners like John Taylor Community College. In 2019, John Taylor executed a $1.33 million dollar grant from Altria to expand their electrical and mechanical maintenance programs, supporting the required academic component of our apprenticeship programs.
All union-represented employees across Philip Morris USA and U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company are covered by Long-Term Agreements. These agreements, which are in addition to basic collective bargaining agreements, provide Altria's tobacco companies and their hourly employees with security against business disruptions that sometimes occur during labor disputes and provide annual bonuses ranging from $1500 - $1800.