LOCKHEED MARTIN Workers OK contract, end strike

Workers will receive raises, more holidays and a signing bonus.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- Union workers at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. approved a new three-year contract Sunday, ending a two-week strike called to gain better wages and lower insurance costs.
Members of Machinists Local 776 passed the contract 2,192 to 554. Representatives of the 4,000-member local and Lockheed Martin agreed early Saturday to the new contract proposal.
The strike -- the third since 1984 -- began April 14 after about 4,000 members of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers rejected a proposal with wage increases that some union members said would be consumed sharply by higher health-care costs.
One of the most objectionable provisions, according to workers, was a change requiring greater worker copayments on prescription drugs.
Under the new contract, workers will receive a 4 percent pay raise in the first year and a 3 percent raise in the last two years, plus added holidays. Employees also will get a $1,500 signing bonus and higher retirement pay.
Cap on prescription costs
The dispute over health-care benefits was settled with workers' getting a cap on prescription copayments.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics President Dain Hancock said a 107 percent increase in health-care costs was the reason behind tightened health insurance benefits.