Two smaller unions agree deals with Lockheed

Sat May 19, 2012 11:41pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N: Quote) said on Saturday it had negotiated new contracts with two smaller unions at its Fort Worth, Texas plant, even as a strike by the larger machinists union stretched into a fifth week.

Lockheed said about 70 members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) on Friday ratified a new contract that would extend for four years. On Saturday, a new five-year contract was approved by 430 members of the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU).

Both agreements take effect on Monday.

Lockheed said the agreements would help the company continue its work on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Pentagon's largest weapons program, the F-16 fighter and other programs.

The company said the contracts each included a $3,000 ratification bonus, general wage increases, cost of living adjustments and a 14 percent boost in future pension benefits.

The deals also include a defined contribution pension plan for new hire employees in lieu of a defined benefit pension plan, a retirement account similar to a 401(k).

That was one of the sticking points in Lockheed's talks with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), which represents 3,300 of 14,250 workers at the facility. It has been on strike since April 23.

The union also represents about 200 workers at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland and 150 at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Union and company officials said no negotiations were scheduled.