Fighter Strike

With a strike by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in its ninth week, Lockheed Martin is producing F-35 strike fighters at about half the rate it was before the work stoppage, according to company officials. Larry Lawson, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics said June 19 about 300 employees had crossed picket lines at Ft. Worth, Tex. He also said he has “a number” of temporary workers, plus workers coming in from Eglin AFB, Fla., and salaried workforce coming in from the company’s different divisions. “So we’re not completely shutting down,” he said. Despite the strike, Lawson said the F-35 test sites at Edwards AFB, Calif., and NAS Patuxent River, Md., “are operating at full capacity.” Lockheed Martin and the IAMAW agreed on June 18 to go to federal mediation. Lawson said he is hopeful for a deal. “We want to get our hourly workforce back because we need them to get to rate [production],” he said. The two parties will meet on June 21. “We’ll sit down and have those discussions again. But there’s not a fundamental shift in [our position] with the federal mediator,” he said.