Lockheed Martin is making significant scheduling changes to hold on to employees while dealing with supplier delays impacting the F-35 program as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) have agreed to temporarily alternate work schedules for production line employees in Fort Worth, Texas.
The company hopes that the changes will not only help hold onto its skilled workforce, but also help expedite recovery once the pandemic passes.
As of May 23, each shift will be divided into three groups on a rotation. Each group will work for two weeks and then have a week off.
The change is due, in part, to Lockheed’s supply chain struggling to deliver components on time. By throttling back F-35 production, the company could miss scheduled deliveries by 18 to 24 jets of an expected 141.
According to the company, if employees work 96 hours or more during a three-week work schedule, they will receive an additional 24 hours for their week off, while still receiving full pay and benefits.
The alternate schedule will be reevaluated after the first three-week cycle, but it could continue until September. 4, 2020. Employees can also volunteer to be furloughed for 30 days where they will receive benefits without pay.