Union members strike over pension dispute with Lockheed Martin

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - As the clock struck one minute past midnight on Friday, dozens of Lockheed Martin Employees held up signs outside Stennis Space Center gates officially announcing they are on strike.

"Nothing more really than corporate greed wanting to take it," Ken Powe, Chief Union Steward said, "make a quick buck off of us and we are going to take a stand."

The employees who are a part of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union are fighting to save their retirement.

"We are out here striking Lockheed Martin," Powe said. "We were in negotiations with them last week and they came back with their last and final offer and they took our pension away from us and that has been something that has been near and dear to us since 1977 here at Stennis Space Center."

The protestors said having a pension is a perk all Stennis Space Center employees enjoy, and they will not be the only ones forced to take a gamble with their retirement.

The work Powe and his 115 co-workers do everyday is vital to the mission of Stennis, the men and women are responsible for maintaining the tests stands. With an engine test scheduled for next week the picketers hope the strike will not last long.

"We will go back to the table and see what they have got to offer right now as it stands, our committee and people are behind us and will stand until we get it," Powe said.

Until the strike is over the other Lockheed Martin employees who work at Stennis Space Center have the option to go through an alternate gate so they will not have to cross the picket lines.

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