Lockheed strike continues with no signs of progress



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Posted on May 15, 2012 at 10:39 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 16 at 1:42 AM

FORT WORTH — After nearly four weeks of protests, striking machinists at Lockheed Martin continue walking the picket lines. Both sides say there are no talks scheduled.

When workers rejected a proposal that included changes to health care and pension benefits, a new chapter began in what is becoming a long, but unsurprising fight.

"We had been familiar with two and three-week strikes, and we felt like this one would be longer," said Paul Black of the International Association of Machinists District 776.

The walkout that began on April 23 is approaching four weeks, and now the union is paying members $150 a week.

"Everybody is making a sacrifice," Black said, "and we know it hurts some more than it does others."

Yet they continue picketing.

Many of the people on strike are part of the project to build the new F-35 fighter jet. Suggesting the strike is having little effect on production, a company spokesman said they have put three of the military aircraft in the sky since the strike began.

But on the ground, a standoff continues. Just when it will end — and who will win — remains a question left unanswered.

E-mail mmoore@wfaa.com