IAM members of District 776 employed by Lockheed Martin will vote this week on an improved contract offer which, if ratified, would end the strike that began on April 23. Ratification requires a simple majority and will take place in Ft. Worth on June 28. Results will be announced following the vote.
Key economic features of the four-year accord include an 11 percent increase in wages and a lump-sum bonus of $2,000, plus an up-front Cost-of-Living payment of $1,600. The new contract preserves and improves the existing defined benefit pension plan for current employees and improves on the 401(k) savings plan for future employees, adding an employer-paid benefit through the IAM National Pension Plan.
The new contract includes Aetna Point-of-Service and Health Maintenance Organization plans that were not offered in the previous proposal. Current and future IAM members at Lockheed can now choose from comprehensive health care plans with low deductibles, no copays and out-of network options, which are important for employees with family members going to school or living in other parts of the nation. The premiums have reasonable caps, also not in the previous offer.
“This improved offer is the product of four days of intense mediation with Lockheed that were conducted with the aid of a federal mediator,” said Aerospace GVP Mark Blondin. “While the end result leaves both sides with issues they feel were not completely resolved, the IAM Negotiating Committee is recommending the offer to members as the best that can be achieved without a much longer work stoppage.”
“The members of District 776 deserve the respect of union members everywhere,” said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez. “Their cause was the benefits and working conditions of the next generation of IAM members at Lockheed. The obligation we all have to fight for future generations is every bit as great as the debt we owe to the generation that went before.”