Machinists Vote "No" On Proposed Northrop Grumman Contract - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Machinists Vote "No" On Proposed Northrop Grumman Contract

Northrop Grumman workers who voted on a proposed four-year contract Thursday say they have an idea where things might be headed.

"It's looks like there's going to be a strike," says John Hudson.

134 workers voted 'yes' to the proposed contract and 2, 710 voted 'no.'

"We work too hard for the little amount of money we make and we deserve more," says Shon Leonard.

The lack of money is what motivated many members to vote against the contract.

Under the proposed contract, workers would receive three pay raises every 16 months. The first pay raise would be $1.40 for the first 16 months. For the two remaining pay raise cycles, workers would receive $.55 for each raise.

Meanwhile, health care premiums would go from $144 a month to $217 a month in two years. For those making a little over $18.00 an hour, they say those numbers would leave them hurting.

"We love the work. We love our jobs, but we also got to live especially if you got a family.  We all gotta live," says Fabian Dailey.

But others say, while they support the workers' stand, they had to vote based upon their need to keep money flowing in.

"My vote was 'yes' to go back to work, but I'm still backing them too.  But, I gotta look out for my family.  At the same time, I don't think it's right the way the company's trying to do them," says Kenneth Padgett.

Those who voted 'no' say they are confident workers will stand their ground to send Northrop Grumman a message of solidarity.

"I believe they will stand strong because their efforts are being overlooked.  If they stand strong and say 'no,' then they have to be a united front to let their voices be heard. And that's what we're out here for, to let our voices be heard," says Toni McBride.

Since electricians will vote on the proposed contract Friday, Northrop Grumman officials were not ready to speak on camera

Communications Manager Bill Glenn said, "Northrop Grumman will not comment until all votes have been tallied."

Union representatives say there are still steps that must be taken over the next few days before a strike can begin. If there is an overwhelming vote against the proposed contract and the union heads give workers the go-ahead to strike, it could begin as early as Monday morning at seven.  

by Krystal Allan

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