Thanks to the efforts of local people and their representatives, the West Midlands Pension Fund (WMPF) has taken the unprecedented step of ending all investments in one aspect of the arms trade.
Unfortunately we are still concerned about the presence of Lockheed Martin, the multinational arms-dealer, in the Coventry University Technology Park. In 2016, a new name appeared in their place, which was taken to mean that Lockheed Martin had left the area. This was a misunderstanding.
In 2016, Lockheed Martin merged its IT wing with another US firm, Leidos. This is the name which now appears in the entrance to the Design Hub. It is also known that Lockheed Martin is the owner of Leidos and appoints three directors to its Board. Leidos is a leading exponent of the logistical side of the arms trade. Whereas Lockheed Martin manufactures the weapons, Leidos transports them.
While Lockheed Martin may be the owner of Leidos, the WMPF invests £3.9 million in Lockheed Martin, with Council Tax money. So we are faced with a similar challenge to the cluster bomb issue. WMPF’s investments in Lockheed Martin enable the company to continue manufacturing its military equipment, and also, we now know, transport it, via its front company, Leidos.
We draw this to your attention as a matter which impinges gravely on the continued reputation of the city concerning issues of peace, reconciliation and the welfare of refugees. We have already written to the management of Leidos, to ask if they would explain to us the nature of their work in Coventry, but we have had no reply.
On behalf of the Coventry Justice and Peace Group
c/o 110 Earlsdon Avenue South