Posted on August 11, 2016 linda strong aviation manufacturer
The Machinists union from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics has recently approved of a new contract which will keep the mile long assembly line for the stealth F-35 joint strike fighter uninterrupted for the next six years.
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District Lodge 776 voted 1,496 to 372 to ratify a labor agreement that will hike their wages 16 percent and locks in healthcare coverage and pension benefits for employees until April 2022.
stated Max B. Baker from Star Telegram.
The union represents 2,600 workers at Lockheed’s plant west of Fort Worth as well as 300 at Edwards Air Force Base in California and Patuxent River, Md. It is the largest labor group at the plant, where about 14,000 people go to work every day.
The president of Machinists Lodge 776, Paul Black, suggested that after months of negotiation with Lockheed Martin, this deal was as good as it was going to get.
I feel like it was the best deal to be had.
When we surveyed the membership, and in our monthly meetings, what we heard was that they wanted their healthcare choices maintained, they wanted their costs contained and we accomplished that.
Lockheed Martin’s general manager and vice president for Aeronautics Operations, Tom Simmons, said that they are pleased that the International Association of Machinist members made the decision to accept Lockheed Martin’s final and best offer. The two parties reached an agreement without any stoppage of work, which is a noteworthy accomplishments. Four years ago, there was a bitter strike which stopped work for around 10 weeks. Officials from the Pentagon said that they had emphasized the significance of upholding the promised production schedule.
We offered an industry-leading agreement that balances the affordability demands of our customers with rewarding our excellent workforce.
said Simmons in a statement.
Our employees perform a critical task for our customers and the nation through their work supporting critical aircraft production programs.
The production facility is expected to provide more than fifty stealth fighters in 2016. By the end of 2020, the plant is hoping to gear up to build 17 stealth fighters a month. Lockheed Martin is currently in the middle of a $1.2 billion upgrade of their facilities in order to make these plans possible. The company plans to hire on an additional 1,000 employees for assembly line work next year.
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