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As we move forward, we need to remember this question: What is Lockheed's long term plan? If Lockheed prevails, we know what the plan is. They say the military is pushing them to lower costs. Lockheed defends the overhead costs, the layers and layers of management, including their managers they have blogging all day on company time. That’s a perfectly acceptable cost for them. They say they've got 1,700 salaried workers doing our jobs. Obviously the work they were doing wasn't that important, that they can take two months off...
It’s OUR pay and benefits they are after. If Lockheed prevailed, in three years, it’s Healthworks for everyone (they have said over and over their plan is for Healthworks to be the ONLY healthcare plan Lockheed offers across the nation), and then they’ll freeze the pensions, so they can terminate them and sell them off to an insurance company.
Oh, but they have a 401(k), they say! First, everyone knows, and news article after news article says you can’t retire on a 401(k). Of course, the match on the 401(k) is another cost, right? And after all, they have to lower costs, right? So, once the pensions are gone, the 401(k) match is on the chopping block too. Oh, they’ll keep it so that you can put your OWN money into a plan, because they can get all kinds of fees to administer it. It’s another way to make a buck. But put their OWN money in? Not if they can keep from it!
Then it’s just chip away, chip away, at every benefit we have, then they can go after wages.
Standing together, we can win. But it is one we are fighting for working people everywhere.
Don’t let the newspapers like the Star-Telegram make you think that pensions are a thing of the past, and we can’t win. The IAM has lots of aerospace contracts around the nation with pension for new hires. Boeing Seattle still has pensions for everyone. Every contract the IAM has in Wichita, KS, including Cessna, Lear Jet and Spirit Aerosystems has pensions for all IAM employees. So, no, Lockheed isn’t following the pack. Some companies give a damn about their employees, and want to reward them for the work they do. They don’t want to pick their pockets and steal from their families.
In yesterday’s Dallas Morning News, labor expert Dr. Peter Rachleff from Macalester College lauded the strength of our Fighting Machinists:
“I think the willingness of the union to dig in and fight is unusual,” Rachleff said. “But any strike is the possible place where the whole situation could turn. Maybe that’s here.”