Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Grumman Northrup: "Hey, Let's Not Even Pretend to be Fair"

William Johnson also points out a freight-train sized hole in the "but...Mississippi's doing ok" after the storm and engineering catastrophe:

Seven thousand workers at defense company Northrop Grumman's Pascagoula, Mississippi shipyard went on strike March 8, following their rejection of the company's proposed contract. The strikers, members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 733, are demanding wage increases and protesting the company's proposal to shift health care costs onto the workers.

Pascagoula was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005; many strikers note that since the hurricane, their cost of living has increased dramatically.

Striker Shane Buckhalter, a pipe welder at the shipyard for the past two and a half years, said that Katrina "wiped several towns along the coastline completely off the map." As a result, said Buckhalter, "Insurance has gone up, housing has gone up. "

Meanwhile, Northrup Grumman, only after an initial contract calling for NO raises AND increased out-of-pocket costs for healthcare was rejected, offered...raises ranging from .55 cents to $1.40 an hour over three years.

But the real punchline is:

The U.S. Navy gave Grumman $2.7 billion to repair Katrina damage, while FEMA gave the company another $356 million.

I'll bet those are "cost-plus" contracts as well, that is, if expenses climb, so does the bottom line...for management. That's three billion dollars...or more, depending.

Oh, and you know what? This is the first I've heard of the strike anywhere. Looks like the corporate media won't even acknowledge its existence. How about that?

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