28 May, 2012Members of the International Association of Machinists, on strike since April 23 to defend pensions and other benefits at a Lockheed Martin plant in Texas, expressed outrage about the company's use of agency workers during the strike, risking the quality of the aircraft being produced at the site.
UNITED STATES: Lockheed Martin announced on May 24 that it is bringing in temporary workers at its site in Fort Worth, Texas in response to strike action by members of the IMF North American affiliate International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).
IAM District 776 expressed outrage at the company's decision to use scab labour and concern about the competency of the temporary staff and the quality of the unique aircrafts supplied to Pentagon within the contract with Lockheed Martin at Fort Worth, Texas. The two decades project to supply 2,443 Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters is worth US$397 billion and is the largest Pentagon weapon program.
The IAM, representing 3,300 out of 14,250 workers at the plant, commenced strike action on April 23 after the company refused to extend in a new collective contract the pensions and health care benefits to new hire employees at Lockheed Martin facilities in Texas, California and Maryland.
In a statement published on its website http://www.goiamtexas.com/, giving updates on the strike, the union said, "Lockheed will waste millions to hire unskilled and untrained workers to make a silly show that won't produce anything", adding that money spent on bringing in the agency workers is much higher than the cost of denied benefits.