Privatized FSS Settlement
Automated Flight Service Station employees, who now work for Lockheed Martin, will likely continue to be represented by the National Association of Air Traffic Specialists (NAATS) following a deal reached between the two earlier this week. NAATS and Lockheed Martin have agreed to allow the National Labor Relations Board to conduct a secret-ballot vote among flight service station employees to see if they want to continue being unionized. According to a news release issued by NAATS, Lockheed Martin has agreed to respect the outcome of the vote and begin contract negotiations if the workers embrace the union. NAATS President Kate Breen said the settlement could prevent years of expensive legal wrangling. Lockheed Martin took over the FSS system last October but refused to recognize NAATS as the workers' representative. The union took the company to court and a trial was scheduled to start next week. Breen said Lockheed Martin had vowed to exhaust all legal avenues of appeal, a costly process that would take years, if it lost the first trial. Breen said Lockheed Martin has agreed not to threaten or discriminate against pro-union workers in advance of the vote.