Union, Employer Go Back To Bargaining Table
Mar. 06, 1987
SEATTLE (AP) _ A new round of negotiations has begun between Lockheed Shipbuilding Co. managers and union representatives of some 750 workers who were locked out in a contract dispute.
Talks went late into the afternoon Thursday and were to continue today and possibly Saturday, said Seattle Metal Trades Council president Nate Ford.
Lockheed vice president John Hayes said there was room for compromise, but union leaders would have to make concessions that would make the shipbuilder more competitive.
The last contract talks were Feb. 19.
''We have always been willing to talk, but we aren't going to come out of there without an agreement that will make us more competitive,'' Hayes said. ''It's too early to say what is going to come out of this. We are hopeful we can reach an agreement.
Ford said he was cautiously optimistic that the company would be willing to negotiate during the new round of talks.
''We get the feeling that they are willing to budge a little on some issues,'' he said.
Lockheed locked out its union employees Nov. 17, with the company saying the union had been too slow in presenting its final offer of Oct. 10 to union members.
The union said Dec. 4 that a vote taken after the lockout was overwhelmingly opposed to the pay offer.
Lockheed rejected the workers' offer to work at the lower wage while negotiations continued, and began hiring non-union replacements in January.
Lockheed said it needed wage concessions to be competitive in the shipbuilding industry. It said it offered workers wages that would be cut an average of $3 an hour from the average $13.50 workers had been paid.
Pay cuts were reportedly as high as $7 an hour for some workers.