Lockheed, machinists come to terms on new contract

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by WALT ZWIRKO

WFAA

Posted on June 24, 2012 at 1:33 AM

Updated Sunday, Jun 24 at 10:15 AM

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FORT WORTH -- Lockheed Martin announced late Saturday night that it has reached an agreement with a union representing 3,600 striking workers.

Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers walked off the job on April 23 after overwhelmingly rejecting the company's previous contract offer in a dispute that was focused on health care costs and pension benefits. 

Last week, the two sides agreed to discuss their differences with a federal mediator. 

“We are pleased to report our discussions with the union have been productive and we reached a tentative agreement this evening to end the strike,” said Greg Karol, Lockheed Martin’s vice president of labor relations in a written statement. 

Terms of the deal were not announced. 

IAM members are expected to vote on what the union would only characterize as an "improved" contract proposal early this week. 

"We look forward to having them back on the job, building the world’s best fighters," Karol's statement said.   

Lockheed, the Pentagon's biggest supplier, hired temporary replacement workers to stay on target with the production of the F-35 fighter jets.

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