Lockheed Strike

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2012, 21:49
by ecsduct
Myself and several other Al Dhafra LM alumni have finally been getting our UAE follow-ons this spring, mostly with 16 and 35 program at Edwards, Eglin, and Pax. Now, right after we've all checked out toolboxes and hooked up com-cords, the IAM in Fort Worth says we're on strike.

...um... oooooookay....

Look, I am far from being a LM 'flag waver'. The management of this corporation is as lying, cheating, and back-stabbing as the next. BUT- having experienced quite a bit of the other military, airline, and defense industry aviation opportunities available elsewhere, Lockheed isn't really that bad, relatively speaking. With the economy the way it is right now, shouldn't we be grateful for what we've got? Rather than spending everything we've made overseas on rent for the next year while picketing.

Don't get me wrong, I am 100% supportive of the guys out here at Gate 3. But, for those of us who sweated through those 120 degree summers for a year or more to finally get on with 16 flight test or JSF, then being told a few weeks later we're out of a job for the forseeable future, what are we supposed to do now? Apply for unemployment?

All right... Let the union issue back and forth begin. Anything helpful, besides discourse and rancor?


(rolling up the cord and pushing my box back to the AMU) :?

RE: Lockheed Strike

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2012, 23:07
by discofishing
What's the strike over again?

Unread postPosted: 06 May 2012, 23:49
by ecsduct
Same as every other company right now, pensions & health care. LM wants to cease their in-house plans and contract everything out to flex plans and 401Ks. I agree with the IAM this is not good, and as I said I'm definitely not one of the flag wavers hanging around the office hoping to get another 'coin'. But most other companies are doing far worse things right now.

I've talked to some of the picketers and read their website material. I was just hoping some of the wildly positive LM posters we constantly see on here all the time could toss in a few cents without all the corporate speak about 'team building' and 'customer service'. We fix airplanes, not stock options. I believe in a good work ethic, but I'm not sure if striking right now won't do more harm than good. My loyalty is to my skill, coworkers, and safety, not profits. Profits just pay the bills.

(waiting in line at the counter to turn in my pump handle & bunny suit) :?

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2012, 11:04
by SaulGood2021
Here at Eglin, we have nothing to do with the union...

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2012, 13:08
by fiskerwad
ecsduct wrote:Same as every other company right now, pensions & health care. LM wants to cease their in-house plans and contract everything out to flex plans and 401Ks. I agree with the IAM this is not good, and as I said I'm definitely not one of the flag wavers hanging around the office hoping to get another 'coin'. But most other companies are doing far worse things right now.

I've talked to some of the picketers and read their website material. I was just hoping some of the wildly positive LM posters we constantly see on here all the time could toss in a few cents without all the corporate speak about 'team building' and 'customer service'. We fix airplanes, not stock options. I believe in a good work ethic, but I'm not sure if striking right now won't do more harm than good. My loyalty is to my skill, coworkers, and safety, not profits. Profits just pay the bills.

(waiting in line at the counter to turn in my pump handle & bunny suit) :?


You got here too late, ecs, LM hasn't been in the airplane business for years. GD built airplanes, for a year as Lockheed they built airplanes, when Martin merged with Lockheed, they stopped being about airplanes.

The big slide started with the failed A-12 program when Bill Anders was given the job of driving the stock price up so the Crown family could cash in their holdings. Anders held a fire sale of the corporation's companies that weren't "core" to the corporation. FW division was over 50% of corporate profit so it was the company worth the most. Since Anders wasn't interested in the corporation's future, GD/FW was history.

Company match of employee savings went from a dollar match to 50 cents on the dollar paid with company stock. As a friend of mine pointed out, when a company starts printing their own money, watch out. From that point on, the bean counter/wall street traders were running the company.

I hope the history lesson wasn't too boring but it gives you an idea of how we got where we are. I don't see the union winning this one which means the salaried folks are next as union agreements drive the bennies for them.
Best of luck.
fisk

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2012, 13:49
by exfltsafety
fiskerwad wrote:I don't see the union winning this one which means the salaried folks are next as union agreements drive the bennies for them.
Best of luck.
fisk

Salaried new hires lost their pensions several years ago. And the salaried employee cost of healthcare increases every year.

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2012, 19:37
by discofishing
What is the make up of this union? For instance, is it 70% skilled people versus 30% unskilled? Can unskilled and skilled workers even be in the same union at all?

Unread postPosted: 08 May 2012, 00:39
by ecsduct
I was afraid of that. I do appreciate hearing from other 'normal' mechanics, as it seems nowadays everyone is either a permanent grin or a definite downer. I suppose I'll just hang around for a few weeks, then look for something else. I just don't understand why LM seemed to suddenly begin hiring like crazy this Spring, if they knew this was coming up? Were we supposed to be scabs?

Weird. A year after the UAE I couldn't even get my e-mails returned, then suddenly had 4 offers to choose from. I guess I should have taken the Eglin slot, if they're not affected by this...

(walking out to the parking lot, head hung low) :?

Unread postPosted: 08 May 2012, 03:04
by fiskerwad
Never stop looking for your next job, ecs. If this one works out, OK, but it's not the only game in town. Eglin is just a house of cards right now, probably not a good place to be until they get it sorted out, if ever.
fisk

Unread postPosted: 08 May 2012, 17:38
by ecsduct
Interesting what you say about Eglin, that's exactly the impression I got from the phone interview, which I why I chose something else. The Edwards gig sounded nice, but just too darn far away, and I've done that desert stuff to death for one lifetime.

A couple other options on the table I've been back-burner-ing. We'll see.

(driving out the gate and honking to the picketers, thumbs up) :?

Oh, and I'm not an ECS troop, 100% mechanic. That refers to a gentle debate I won at Al Dhafra about changing the JFS fuel filter. Buddy said he could do it without pulling that duct right in front on it, the one you have to go through the wheel well and engine bay to turn. Um, yeah, until he dropped a bolt behind the ADG, and I had to spend all of a night shift with a borescope & mech fingers to save us a gearbox change. (whew)

Hmm, I'm usually in the hangar, though, not the flightline. Guess I'm not a 'hard core' crew chief. (grin)

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 22:24
by juvat67
Lockheed mechs on strike? Wow, amazing. I know when I worked for Greenville, that when the contract was over, so was the loyalty from Lockheed. As a CLS person, you did not have as nice as benefits as the AERO people, and you accepted that, but I was hoping that the company would have had a little more loyalty to you, especially if you had a good performance report. Not such the case. If anything that can come out of the strike I would hope for all those overseas that are on the contract that LM would show loyalty toward its sustainment employees by securing some position for them, especially in this economy, and provide preferential positioning over throwing you into the deep end, or out of the company. It would be a novel idea that would instill more loyalty from the employees. BTW, NEVER, EVER work for the Johnstown group, and the IPV program. Their leadership is pretty corrupt and backstabbing, and yes I am bitter still.

Unread postPosted: 12 May 2012, 01:17
by ecsduct
That's exactly what I'm talking about. Thanks for putting it so well! I worked for Lockheed as a contractor for 6 months with GE Jet, then got on 'permanent' (I thought) with the 16/60 at Al Dhafra. 18 months and a lot of sweat & work ethic later, all I got was a plane ticket back to point of origin, standing there with my dufffel bags at curbside. Wow, thanks a @#$%ing lot, there, LM...

All we ever heard at the 'all hands' was about finding a spot for us. Um, yeah, right. I realize it's just a paycheck, I know other companies are worse, but then I read all the 'LM is heaven' stuff on here and just shake my head.

Now, supposing this thing ends reasonably soon, and we all go back before finding other jobs. What kind of attitude would YOU have towards a company like this? Out of several dozen managers I've met here in two years, I've known ***two*** I respect and trust. And the second I value the most, because he saw me in the line hangar many, many a night the last one there still working after the rest of the base was completely empty.

And yet, most of the workers here are some of the best people I've ever known, professionally...

(staring at the cell phone and mailbox, wondering what to do next) :?

Oh, and I was a Juvat in 93. A-Town was still going strong, and I've heard it's still up even today! I wonder how the DOD gets away with legalized prostitution for it's enlisted corps overseas...? You'd think MSNBC would be screaming their heads off. (grin)

Unread postPosted: 12 May 2012, 12:48
by F31CrewDawg
Got you trumped--I was at the Kun in 1976 and that was the no shiiter era. Was there as Juvat in 93 and it sucked the big one. A-town was nothing. Pls tell me ur being sarcastic (grin). DOD is not gettin away with anything--A Town is a Korean township now, governed by its own laws--matter of fact more Koreans frequent it then yanks. Its already bad enuff in the new bottled water Air Forc-lets just make everything illegal. geez laweez

Unread postPosted: 12 May 2012, 21:02
by ecsduct
Wolf Pack in 1976?!? WOW! I heard how off the rail, hook, track, and out of the box it was back then. I also missed the PI for Cope T, we were the first ones stuck out in the boonies at Eileson, after the volcano leveled Clark. Fairbanks had... two? strip clubs, and one was out in the middle of nowhere.

Oh well, us youngsters can still idolize you oldsters. However, lame as A.T. had become, relatively speaking, it was still better than that @#$%hole NCO club on base. Or stumbling around Kunsan City in the dark, being chased by the T.P. around the marketplace...

(wondering why all that chem gear doesn't impress LM) :cheers:

"Bottled water AF" - LOL! What a perfect way to descibe it now. I left at 10 years, met guys in the UAE my age who had stayed in 20. Said when we all left during the Clinton cutbacks we "broke the AF's back". I say GOOD.

Unread postPosted: 13 May 2012, 15:36
by F31CrewDawg
Yeah, ecsduct-those were the days. But I guess things have to change. Couldnt have stayed like that--weapons troops driving their jammers with shoulder length hair tucked under their hat. It was out of control. BTW I was a TMO geek, freight traffic to be exact during the 76 era. We worked 3 months straight receiving Korat air base which was shipped to Pusan and then railroaded up to the 'Kun'. Worked hard-partyed hard. Cheers

Unread postPosted: 17 May 2012, 20:00
by rcegress
Not sure where you coming from....I think the hiring here Eglin is done. We been told there will not be any new hires. They are already talking about downsizing.

Unread postPosted: 20 May 2012, 15:07
by ecsduct
Hmm, LMPeople still has internal openings listed for Eglin F-35 maintainers. But from the previous phone interviews, it sounds like they prefer *everyone* to be comfortable teaching classes, not just fixing airplanes. Guy I spoke to last month said a lot of that was on-aircraft OJT, not standing in front of a podium, but perhaps that's changed? Um, right. NOT doing the polo shirt and starbucks coffee thing, thanks...

(polishing up a potential picket sign) :wtf:

Coincidentally (or not) been getting stuff in the mail from LM and online from IAM. Sounds like this pension they're fighting for is actually fairly decent! No wonder the Great Gravel Hauling Company wants to dump it all in favor of 401Ks.

Unread postPosted: 21 May 2012, 17:54
by sufaviper
I'll be honest I have never been a part of a union and therefore do not understand a lot about them, but I do have questions.

If someone wants to work, and not be unemployed, can't they "cross" or whatever it is called?
If they cross what are the terms of crossing (do they come back and agree to the contract that was rejected)?
Since Texas is Right to Work, can anyone actually tell someone to go on strike?
What stops LM from hiring people from Wichita, KS that are out of work (or soon to be) due to Hawker/Beechcraft issues and Boeing pulling the tanker out of KS?

Based on personal observations, the pension plan is dead with the exception of Government and Union jobs. Companies have realized that pensions, like social security, are Ponzy Schemes that have nailed the companies to the wall in terms of debt burden. Plus if the company ever goes bankrupt, where do all the pension plans go? And what happens to the 401K's? (Hint: pensions get a settlement of pennies on the dollar at best and the 401K is worth what it was worth before the bankruptcy minus any stock the individual had in said company)

Sufe Viper

Unread postPosted: 21 May 2012, 21:10
by mc5wes
ECSDuct
So your saying Lockheed will be teaching FTD classes for the new 35 troops?

So no more attending class for a month to get 8 hours of useful information?

Unread postPosted: 21 May 2012, 21:25
by discofishing
Sounds like the post-military world of being an aircraft tech is full of more uncertainty than being in the military. I really do miss working on aircraft, but wouldn't want to deal with strikes and all the madness that comes with government contract work. That's why I recommend anyone who gets out of the military as a tech to go to school for engineering.

Unread postPosted: 22 May 2012, 01:34
by fiskerwad
mc5wes wrote:ECSDuct
So your saying Lockheed will be teaching FTD classes for the new 35 troops?

So no more attending class for a month to get 8 hours of useful information?


OR, you may get 4 months of how rivets are manufactured or how decode bit codes on the serial data busses. :-)
fisk

Unread postPosted: 22 May 2012, 12:40
by ecsduct
Ha! Remember the first week at Sheppard? All we did was study the T.O. system? I recall hearing what I later found out were -60s being started outside and thinking, "WOW! Are those real fighter jets cranking up? Hope I get out of this little room someday to work on them..."

And yes, I was told during the interview as an LM maintainer at EG I'd have to do training. Um, yeah.... ten teenagers staring at me, asking "What's safety wire?"

(re-thinking this blind loyalty to the union) :whistle:

I'm used to training being, "Dude, go push the mule over here."

Unread postPosted: 23 May 2012, 07:07
by mc5wes
Rivets? When I retrained into 16s. And they sent me to avionics 7 Level school at Shppard. We spent the whole first day learning how to fill out a 350 tag. I looked at the instructor and told him you have to be kiding. Thats the first thing I learned how to do when I got to my first base.

Unread postPosted: 28 May 2012, 21:12
by juvat67
Anyone know how the strike is going? Did anything come from the mechs revolt, other than the CEO for LM quitting?

Lockheed

Unread postPosted: 28 May 2012, 22:28
by mc5wes

RE: Lockheed

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2012, 14:39
by jerryo
No proress on strike at Fort Worth. No plans for progress either. As a Supervisor on the flight line, we are managing quite well without the mechanics. If you've ever dealt with a union, you know how frustrating thier rules can be. I'm not "allowed" to turn a wrench or I can have a grievance filed aginst me...sigh...but now, we get to do the work. Production is up, quality is WAAAAYYY up, morale is the highest I've ever seen. Quite frankly, on the flight line, we aren't in any hurry for the workers to return. The merits of strike or cross is a personal choice each person must make. Bottom line is do what is best for YOU & YOUR family. Then live with the choice.

Unread postPosted: 19 Jun 2012, 14:00
by TJSmitty
They're meeting with mediators...

http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/06/18 ... iator.html

Smitty

Unread postPosted: 19 Jun 2012, 21:04
by TJSmitty
This was being sent around Lockheed.....

Image

Smitty

Unread postPosted: 19 Jun 2012, 22:14
by discofishing
juvat67 wrote:Anyone know how the strike is going? Did anything come from the mechs revolt, other than the CEO for LM quitting?


Doesn't sound like he's quitting to me.

http://www.salon.com/2012/04/26/lockhee ... to_retire/

Sounds more like a retirement.

Unread postPosted: 19 Jun 2012, 23:49
by airwerks
[quote="TJSmitty"]They're meeting with mediators...

http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/06/18 ... iator.html

It's going to be interesting, as the only real problems we had with the offered contract was health care costs and the pension, and Larry Lawson is adamant that there will be no negotiations on those items. We shall see. Would be interesting to hear what suddenly drove the company to asking for FLMB intervention.

Unread postPosted: 20 Jun 2012, 00:11
by johnwill
The Startle-gram article did not indicate LM asked for the mediation. Rather, both sides were invited, and both gladly accepted.

Unread postPosted: 21 Jun 2012, 15:08
by jerryo
Not hearing much, and probably won't until after the mediator meetings. I'm not overly optimistic that LM is looking to get the workers back quickly.

Unread postPosted: 24 Jun 2012, 13:12
by airwerks
A tentative agreement was reached late last night. It will be presented to the union membership and voted on within the next week or so. Will be intersting to see what changed. The two issues that preditacted the strike were non-negotiable according the company in every statement prior to the involvement of the mediator service.

Unread postPosted: 29 Jun 2012, 14:16
by jerryo
So the IAM ratified the contract yesterday afternoon. Biggest company concession was adding a health plan. I think the company conceded to much up front money to the employees ($2k sign on, $1600 COLA, either a 3% raise or $1800, plus they are allowed to take 2 weeks of paid leave if they had it saved up before strike). But, it all worlks out and they report to work Monday, 2 July or Monday 9 July. I can now go back to my regular job versus splitting time between here and the flight line covering them in their absence.

Unread postPosted: 30 Jun 2012, 12:02
by mistad
Also a lot of slots are being created on the assembly line, I got an offer yesterday

Unread postPosted: 06 Jul 2012, 11:52
by ecsduct
Now that we're all going back this week and next, I wonder what the workplace atmosphere will be like? There is a company 'reset' memo on the IAM website that seems to read "We won, you lost, **** you."

Notice the tone of the manager in this thread. Whatever your position on unions, those are * EXACTLY * the type of negative comments issued from 99% of all Lockheed supervisors. I've met three (one in Greenville, two in the UAE) I respected and would sacrifice for. The rest, every single one of them, only seem to care about their desk, clipboard, polo shirt, and seat at the morning meeting. Their behavior during the strike is clearly evident, including hiring temporary workers in Fort Worth that couldn't even pass a drug screen! (direct quote from recruiting manager) Not to mention HR actions against new hires who were locked out durng this dispute.

Selling a gazillion toys a year seems to be enough to pay the bills. I work hard for MY work ethic, coworkers, and the safety of the aircraft, not company profits. I suppose asking for a pension after 30 years of that is unreasonable?

(unrolling my com-cord and getting ready for the first go) :bang:

Unread postPosted: 12 Jul 2012, 21:06
by jerryo
Have not heard much from anyone that works with the union. Only rumors heard around here. I hope all is well and work proceeds. Time will tell. I hope they can get past the contentious strike and produce more jets.

Unread postPosted: 13 Jul 2012, 16:34
by airwerks
The silly rules and lessons not learned are blowing up in management's faces. Employees are laughing at all the silliness and shaking their head over the pettiness. The employee service center is now telling people that it will be multiple weeks before they can get their retirement packages due to the volume requested. Retirement numbers are rapidly approaching 25% of the total unionized employess. I know multiple people that are starting their countdown calanders towards early retirement. I'm under 1150 days to go.

Unread postPosted: 13 Jul 2012, 22:12
by johnwill
Ah, the LM plan is working! Get rid of all the high wage graybeards and replace them with young energetic workers with the lower benefits of the new contract. Taking early retirement in a difficult labor market sounds risky. I doubt anyone can find work that is as easy and pays as well as LM. Good luck!

Unread postPosted: 15 Jul 2012, 20:59
by pbeadspandora
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Unread postPosted: 16 Jul 2012, 15:19
by jerryo
Embrace change and try to work with Mgt. Maybe, just maybe, they know what they are doing. If not, time will tell, and you can tell the world you are the smartest person ever hired by LM and are the only person qualified to be the CEO. Instead, 10%+ of the represented work force prefer to waste time & effort giggling and laughing and fighting against change, thus proving the point that the union worker is not there to work, but to do anything but work. Maybe they should try to be team players and just do the job they are asked to do versus whining about it? Just an ex-supervisors view. I am EX because I tired of the daily battle against represented workers refusing to follow simple rules (like show up on time, don't smoke on plant, no internet surfing during work hrs, no personal phone use, etc...). Good luck to all.

Unread postPosted: 16 Jul 2012, 19:00
by airwerks
Jerry: Change is fine when it is for the better and improves the product and working conditions. We now have several rules that were implimented in the past, a couple of different times that created more problems than they fixed. Every time these were implimented, within 90 days or less, they were recinded when management finally woke up. We have 4 year wonders that have little or no real world experience telling people that have more time working in the industry than they've been alive, how to do the work because that's the theoretical process they were taught in school. How about listening to us once in a while rather than ignoring us or trashing us at every turn. Instead of targeting fixes that will really work where they need to be done, their solution is to force their idea on everyone with no understanding that what they want may not work in every area of the plant. The Law of Unintended Consequences is rearing it's head daily.

Efficiency comes from having paperwork and documentation correct and parts and tools available quickly. Having to order parts and wait for them to come from warehousing takes time. Same thing when we have to order tools and support equipment. If I don't have the parts or tools when I need them, I can't do the job. Same thing with paperwork and documentation.

Manufacturing process sometimes take considerable more time than management wants, but can't get past. If process engineering sets minimum times for certain things, we can't speed it up. Stop getting mad and throwing a fit when you can't do something because we are in the second hour of a multi hour process that has to be complete before we move on. If you don't like it, then get engineering to change the process or authorize and DOCUMENT the change and aproval. It can be done, but I'm not going to make the change just because you said to. If the job takes certain tools and equipment and it's not available for whatever reason, it's not the crew's fault, so stop blaming us. When your other shifts know there are things needed for the next shift to get the work done, and they can't be bothered to order the parts/tools/equipment/documents or paperwork, don't blame shop, blame your fellow management.

We know management makes the rules, so stop blaming us for the problems that show up or the timelines that get blown when we follow the rules. If you don't like or can't live with the results of your rules, then change them and document and desiminate the changes to the workforce. If we don't follow the rules we are subject to being fired. When most management doesn't, it's usually a different result.

I've been out there a lot of years and been both hourly and management. I've seen the good and the absurd from both sides as well as the bad. From the time that Lockheed took over the facility, it has become an ever declining relationship between upper and mid management and the hourly workforce. There is more that could be said, but not for public consumption.