July 12, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Fort Worth, TX – International Association of Machinists District Lodge 776 voted 1,496 to 372 July 9 to ratify a new contract with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.
The deal, which will run through April 2022, will give the 2,900 workers covered a 16% raise and a $4,000 signing bonus, but will put future employees in a high-deductible health-insurance plan. Workers employed before 2012 will get an increase in their pensions, but those who started later will remain in a 401(k) plan. “I feel like it was the best deal to be had,” Lodge 776 President Paul Black said. The deal covers workers who build the F-35 fighter plane at Lockheed’s plant near Fort Worth, plus 300 at Edwards Air Force Base in California and Patuxent River, Md. Workers who voted no objected to the increased health-care costs, the two-tier provisions, and the plans to expand the “9/80” schedule, in which employees work an hour longer eight days in order to get a Friday off every other week. “The things that a lot of people are complaining about are things that you’re not going to get the company to change on, no matter how long we strike,” responded assembler Daniel Poole, 55, who voted yes. Read more