|International President Tom Buffenbarger addresses members of District 776 at the strike sanction meeting in Ft. Worth, TX.
A loud and spirited crowd of District 776 members gathered at the Cowtown Coliseum in Ft. Worth, TX this past Sunday and voted by a 99.9 percent margin to sanction a strike at the Fort Worth facility of Lockheed Martin. IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger, Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez and Aerospace GVP Mark Blondin attended the vote and addressed the large crowd.
Lockheed Martin is seeking to end pensions for new hires, and IP Buffenbarger spoke to the issue. “First they get no pensions for the new hires. In the next round, they’ll seek to freeze the pension plan. Then, after it’s frozen, they can sell it off to an insurance company like AIG, and all you have is a piece of paper,” said Buffenbarger. “We will not recommend a contract that sells out the future hires.”
“This company wants concessions; they want take-a-ways,” said GVP Martinez. “We have fought for over 70 years in Ft. Worth to raise our wages and benefits, and no one is going to take that away from us.”
Aerospace GVP Blondin said, “What we want is job security, affordable health care and a secure pension, not just for ourselves, but for our children as they go to work at Lockheed.”
The IAM contract with Lockheed covers about 4,250 workers and expires on April 22.