Lockheed machinists continue walkout

By Staff
From staff and wire reports
March 12, 2002
MARIETTA, Ga.  Thousands of union workers at Lockheed Martin plants that produce F-22 Raptor jets and military transport planes continued their strike today at three sites, including one in Meridian.
About 2,700 members of the machinists union in Marietta turned down a three-year contract proposal Sunday that would have raised wages 10 percent and provided $1,000 signing bonuses. About 100 machinists at two plants in Clarksburg, W.Va., and Meridian also walked out at 12:01 a.m. Monday, even though the Meridian union members had voted to accept the new contract.
The machinists said their main concerns are pensions, health insurance and job security.
A raise isn't going to do you any good if they take away your job,'' union president Jim Carroll said in Marietta.
It is the first strike at the Marietta plant in 25 years. In addition to the Raptor, it makes C-130J transports. Workers at the Meridian plant produce vertical stabilizers for the new jet fighter.
A spokesman for Lockheed Martin, the nation's largest defense contractor, said contingency plans were in place for making sure we keep our commitments'' to customers. But Sam Grizzle would not give details.
Last year, Lockheed won the largest defense aerospace contract in history a $200 billion contract to build the Joint Strike Fighter for the Air Force, Navy and Marines.
Lockheed Martin Corporation, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., had sales of $24 billion in 2001, employing about 125,000 people worldwide.
Carroll said, overall, 82 percent of his members supported the walkout after 78 percent rejected the company's so-called last, best and final' offer.

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