Still No Contract Proposed To Northrop Grumman Union Workers - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Still No Contract Proposed To Northrop Grumman Union Workers

"You've got thousands of people out of work and they want to come in here and talk about management? It ain't right," striking worker Nick Mariakis says outside the Gautier Convention Center.  

Union members were hopeful that talks with Northrop Grumman would lead to a new contract. But the three hours of talks were only about changing current management structure. That has union leaders and workers on the picket lines frustrated.

"We expected a real effort from leadership and management, and we didn't get it," striking worker Buddy Bonvillian says.

"Going to the table today without a contract proposal, I think that was a waste of time. If you're going to call all the unions to the table, at least you could have came up with a proposal. Union members have been on the picket lines for nearly three weeks now they want better wages more comprehensive health care and lower insurance premiums," picketer Marcus Richardson says.

This Saturday, their health coverage ends. Off camera, some workers told me they might cross the picket line and go back to work Monday, but others say no way.

"No I can't do that. I have to live with these people after the strike is over even if I wanted to," Bonvillian says.

As for more discussions about wages, union leaders and Northrop Grumman will only say that will come in the near future. In the mean time, picketers say a new contract is way overdue.

"The issue needs to be resolved. Of course we're losing money, the company's losing money too. We gotta join hands and come together. We can't keep fighting each other. That doesn't show unity between the employees and the company," Richardson says.

The Federal Mediator has promised to continue to work with both groups.

By Keli Rabon

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