Cochran Turns up the Heat on Lockheed
Washington DC - No more business as usual!
June 14, 2000
That was the message of famed attorney Johnnie Cochran. Representative
Cynthia A. McKinney (D-GA), Member of the House Armed Services Committee
presented Cochran to the Congressional Black Caucus today to discuss
a pending class action suit against Lockheed Martin.
"Cochran's message to the CBC was that, there is no place for
nooses, Klan membership cards or "Back to Africa" tickets at the
workplace of America's number one defense contractor", said McKinney.
"Seventy percent of Lockheed's $26 billion dollar budget comes
from contracts with the Federal Government," said Cochran. "We implore
the Congressional Black Caucus to help the employees, many of whom
are your constituents, to find relief and to help Lockheed change
its corporate structure."
He asked CBC members to help correct these problems by publicizing
the abuses, and to let Lockheed know that they must address the
treatment of it workers, in all of its facilities.
Cochran stated that the current problems at Lockheed are not new
ones. As told by hundreds of employees, racial and sexual harassment
and discrimination has existed at Lockheed for many years and has
been tolerated by Lockheed's management and apparently the US Government.
Expressing dismay at the slow pace of resolution of the many employee
complaints and the apparent apathy of some, Congresswoman McKinney
stated, "Many measures to find relief to these problems have already
been exhausted and it is now time to put the rubber to the road."
McKinney has already met with Dr. Vance Coffman, CEO of Lockheed
Martin Corporation to discuss the problem.
McKinney requested the meeting following many calls from Lockheed
workers who have been victims of discrimination. From Alabama through
Georgia and South Carolina up to North Carolina, complaints have
been filed against the management of Lockheed Martin. The Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (E.E.O.C.) issued eleven letters
of determination, finding discrimination and nine of those letters
stated that Lockheed Martin had discriminated on the basis of color.
Congresswoman McKinney presented to Dr. Coffman a list of demands,
which includes compensation for all employees who have been discriminated
against on the basis of race, sex, age or disability during the
past five years. "Lockheed must write a check to these workers.
It is the only way to compensate them for their damages," stated
"The good old boys at Lockheed will now be held responsible for
the African-American female employee who was required to have a
pass and an escort to go to the Lady's Room. They will be held responsible
for the African-American male employee called boy by his manager
during staff meeting.
McKinney concluded, "Its time to leave the KKK Membership cards,
robes and racists activities at home"