More than 90 percent of the 3600 workers that make up the Machinists Union at Fort Worth's Lockheed Martin plant rejected the company’s proposed contract and endorsed a strike.
That strike, the first since 2003, is set to begin at 12:01 a.m., Monday. Union leaders said the strike in 2003 lasted three weeks.
Thousands poured out of the Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth Sunday after hearing the vote results.
Union leaders say the major sticking points in the contract: pensions and health care.
The company proposed eliminating the pension plan for new hires, instead replacing it with an employee contribution program. The company also wanted to have employees contribute more out of pocket for health care.
Jurgen Combs has worked for decades at Lockheed, testing safety systems on air crafts. He voted against the contract for future generation. He has two sons he wants to make sure are protected if they get jobs at Lockheed in the future.
“Future generations would like a job out here, they want a good job, just can’t see stomping on them,” said Combs.
Meanwhile, the union believes the important F-35 jet project for the government will be on hold, while their strike takes effect. Lockheed spokesman, Joe Stout, said the company looked for internal candidates to substitute union labor, in case of a strike.
“We think we can sustain a strike without any near time impact,” said Stout.
No union and company negotiating meeting has been set yet. Stout says 14,000 employees work at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, 3600 of those are part of the Machinists Union.
Union leaders said they’re willing to strike for as long as it takes.