Lockheed Martin Workers Strike In Texas
Workers went on strike at Lockheed Martin Corp.'s aircraft manufacturing plant in Texas on Monday. About 4,000 workers began picketing outside of the company's facility at 12:01 a.m., just as the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers' contract with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics expired. Lockheed Martin spokesman Joe Stout told the Associated Press the plant, which operates around the clock making fighter aircraft, remained open Monday. He added the company would try to maintain aircraft production with nonunion salaried employees. [more]Negotiators for Lockheed Martin and the union met over the weekend, but failed to agree on a proposed three-year contract despite Lockheed's new higher wage and pension offer. The workers claim the proposed raises in the contract would be neutralized by increases in their medical and prescription drug payments. The workers voted 2,835 to 426 to reject the company's offer, then voted 2,380 to 432 to strike. The union's most recent proposal sought raises of 8 percent the first year and 6 percent in the following two years, a $1,500 bonus and pension payments of $70 a month per year of service. The previous contract was reached after an 18-day strike in April 2000.