Unions Strike Down Proposed Northrop Grumman Contract - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Unions Strike Down Proposed Northrop Grumman Contract

   The votes are in, and a strike could be just a few days away for Northrop Grumman workers. Union leaders told WLOX that an "overwhelming" amount of votes have rejected the proposed Northrop Grumman contract, instead demanding higher wages and lower healthcare premiums. While they won't give an exact number, they say at least 90 percent of union workers, have sent the message that the time for change is now.

"If it takes a strike, mark my words, I will strike and stay out as long as I can," electrician Nick Mariakis says.

Mariakis hopes his ballot sends one message to his Northrop Grumman bosses.

"Show us, show us the money!" he exclaimed outside the union hall.

More than 600 electricians seconded that, saying "no" to the proposed 4-year contract. Krystal Epperson is one of those voices. She's an electrician and a mother of three. Between a minimal pay raise and rising cost of health care, she says today's decision was easy.

"I'm gonna have to choose between paying my light bill or taking my sick kid to the doctor. That's gonna be a tough choice," Epperson says.

Epperson says her story isn't all that different from the hundreds of others in her union. They all have food, family, and finances to take care of. That's why they say this contract is so important. 

   The contract would give workers three pay raises one every 16 months. The first pay raise would be $1.40 for the first 16 months and 55 cents for each remaining pay raise cycle. 

But Health care premiums would go from $144 a month to $217 a month in two years. That's why Epperson and her co-workers say they're not backing down, no matter what it takes.

   "Basically I'd be making less money in 4 years than I'm making today. I guess I'm gonna have to get a second job," Epperson says.  

And if they go on strike, what will she do?

"Beg borrow and steal I suppose. I can't afford to go on strike by any means, but I can't afford not to," Epperson says.  

   Northrop Grumman released a statement to WLOX, saying that they are disappointed that the new labor agreements were not ratified by the Union membership. A Federal mediator has requested that the company and unions meet to try and come to an agreement before Sunday morning. If you work at Northrop Grumman, please tune in to WLOX throughout the weekend for updates on this situation.  If an agreement is reached, you could be expected to return to work on Monday.

   By Keli Rabon

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Woman killed in wrong-way interstate crash identified

    Woman killed in wrong-way interstate crash identified

    Wednesday, March 29 2017 11:06 AM EDT2017-03-29 15:06:13 GMT

    The woman killed in a wrong-way crash on I-10 early Wednesday morning has been identified.

    More >>

    The woman killed in a wrong-way crash on I-10 early Wednesday morning has been identified.

    More >>
  • Woman reported missing in Biloxi

    Woman reported missing in Biloxi

    Wednesday, March 29 2017 10:27 AM EDT2017-03-29 14:27:27 GMT
    Lindsey Newman (Photo source: Biloxi Police Department)Lindsey Newman (Photo source: Biloxi Police Department)

    Biloxi police are asking for help finding a woman last seen March 9. Officials said Lindsey Newman, 30, was last seen in the 700 block of Beach Blvd. around 1 a.m.

    More >>

    Biloxi police are asking for help finding a woman last seen March 9. Officials said Lindsey Newman, 30, was last seen in the 700 block of Beach Blvd. around 1 a.m.

    More >>
  • Bus passenger seeks $25 million in damages from train accident

    Bus passenger seeks $25 million in damages from train accident

    Wednesday, March 29 2017 8:44 AM EDT2017-03-29 12:44:11 GMT

    A new lawsuit filed in the aftermath of the tragedy on the tracks near downtown Biloxi claims the driver of the bus stuck on the tracks "was an inadequately trained, unlicensed, incompetent or reckless." That suit was filed in Houston, Texas on behalf of Mary Hall, one of the injured passengers on the charter bus that got smashed by a CSX train. It asks a court to award Hall a minimum of $25 million in actual damages.

    More >>

    A new lawsuit filed in the aftermath of the tragedy on the tracks near downtown Biloxi claims the driver of the bus stuck on the tracks "was an inadequately trained, unlicensed, incompetent or reckless." That suit was filed in Houston, Texas on behalf of Mary Hall, one of the injured passengers on the charter bus that got smashed by a CSX train. It asks a court to award Hall a minimum of $25 million in actual damages.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly