Machinists Deliver Demands to Lockheed Martin HQ

Members of District 776 on strike against Lockheed Martin were joined by staff and students from the William Winpisinger Center and members of the Seafarers International Union for an early morning protest this week in front of Lockheed’s corporate headquarters in Bethesda, MD.

IAM members and supporters returned to Lockheed Martin Corp. headquarters in Bethesda, MD this week for another informational picket and to remind company executives that any attempt to force IAM members into a high-deductible, company-run health care plan is a recipe for a prolonged strike.

District 776 members have been on strike at Lockheed locations in Maryland, Texas and California since April 23 over a so-called “last, best and final” offer from the company that includes LM HealthWorks, a health care plan best described by District 776 President Paul Black as, “a great plan, if you never get sick.”

“While Lockheed employees’ weekly contribution for coverage under the LM HealthWorks plan may be slightly less than other plans, the deductibles are enough to make you sick,” said Black. “Between deductibles and prescription drug costs, a highly manageable condition like diabetes could cost a Lockheed employee $3,000 each year under LM HealthWorks.”

According to IAM negotiators, Lockheed is determined to make LM HealthWorks the only healthcare option available to its employees, company-wide. Management and salaried workers were forced into the plan in 2011 and Lockheed retirees are currently given two choices; LM HealthWorks or nothing.

“There is no reason why employees at a highly successful defense contractor like Lockheed should pay thousands in out-of-pocket expenses before their insurance begins to provide coverage for the most basic medical conditions,” said District 776 Business Representative Joe Alviar. “Any increase in wages would be quickly wiped out for workers enrolled in Lockheed’s HC plan.”

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