A 52-day protest of Lockheed Martin by International Association of Machinists Local 776 workers is having an effect on the company according to reports that the industrial giant is unlikely to meet its yearly quotas. The company had promised to deliver 30 F-35 aircraft this year, a figure their partially temporary workforce apparently can’t realize with unionized workers marching outside of the gates. The dispute surrounds pensions and health care benefits.
“We think it’s likely as we go into the year we may have to change our commitment on that. We may not be able to meet that,” said Joe Stout, spokesman for Lockheed Martin.
With more than 3,000 employees still on strike, the company has opted to hire temporary workers to fill in for union members.
“Here on the production line we’ve got about 190 contract workers working,” Stout said. “It’s very unusual for us to bring in contract workers.”
Perhaps the urgency of the matter will bring the two sides back to the negotiating table and show the company once and for all that it needs its most skilled workers:
“We’d really like to get back to the table with them and we’d like to get them back on the job here,” Stout said.