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This is a letter one of our members brought by my office about a week ago.
I am just one of the members of District Lodge 776 which are currently on Strike against Lockheed Martin. I am an Aircraft Assembler and work on the F-35, which we all know is the most technologically advanced Aircraft in the world today, and will be a key component in keeping our Nation secure.
Our dispute is centered on two key issues;
1. Healthcare – The Company’s ultimate plan is to move us into LM HealthWorks which is a high deductible plan with higher out of pocket maximums which focuses on preventative care.
A fact that Lockheed Martin continues to ignore is a big percentage of us are beyond the preventative stage, we need good quality, affordable healthcare that takes care of us!
Has Lockheed forgotten that we are the ones who worked with many chemicals and materials which at the time where considered safe, only to find out years later they were not safe. There were no MSDS’s to go by back then, none the company shared with us anyway. M.E.K. ring a bell with anyone? We used that stuff like it was water we used it to clean everything and didn’t use gloves or respirators either! When the company started making us use those orange rubber gloves we found out later those gloves didn’t protect us at all, we needed special neoprene gloves. There was no such thing as ergonomically correct tools and equipment either, so we now have worn out hands, elbows, shoulders, hips, backs and knees that need to be taken care of so we might be able to enjoy a few of those “Golden Years” pain free.
There is no telling how much of the solvents, chemicals and sealants we absorbed through our skin or inhaled into our lungs. Some of us were even involved in a few asbestos spills out on the line over the years before the asbestos was abated. Now we are working with new composites and all kinds of new chemicals and compounds and God only knows what will be found out about that stuff in a few years!
To show their appreciation to those that stayed the course and did the work to make Lockheed Martin what it is today, this company wants us to pay more for our insurance which provides less coverage with higher deductibles and higher out of pocket maximums.
Anyone else find it amazing that after we have accepted substandard packages in the past, within a few weeks after the close of negotiations how we read in the headlines about Lockheed Martin Corporate Executives receiving huge bonuses?
Hey Lockheed “We are people, flesh and blood who have had some amongst our ranks suffer and die in order for you to profit” I believe you can afford to share your reward.