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June 28, 2012

Machinists approved Lockheed contract offer; return to work Monday

Seventy days after they voted overwhelmingly to go on strike against Lockheed Martin, a strong majority of Machinists union members Thursday approved a revised contract offer.

“I’m ready to go back to work,” said Will Montgomery, a material handler on the Lockheed F-35 production line.

It was a resigned, but not angry crowd of more than 2,300 that gathered at the Cowtown Coliseum to vote on a proposal that most said was at best little better than the one they had rejected two months ago.

But with their bank accounts drained and bills piling up, most were ready to declare the battle over. The revised contract passed 1,873 to 447, 80 percent voting yes.

Pete McKean, a 31-year employee at the west Fort Worth aircraft plant, said he felt like the only recourse was to vote yes because the union could not win a better deal. The Machinists union leadership and negotiators “represented us as best they could.”

- Bob Cox

 

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