Friday, July 29, 2011
Hundreds of local aviation workers held a rally in Wichita's Old Town Friday. Hawker Beechcraft machinists union workers met amid ongoing contract negotiations.
The workers have been through an agonizing work environment over the last couple of years. The company had said it would pack up and leave town last July. Then state government stepped in and gave the company $40 million to stay. The company agreed it would keep 4,000 jobs in Wichita.
"Job security is number one. We all know what's happened out there. Not just there, but around here in general aviation...the loss off a lot of jobs," Steve Rooney, union representative said.
The company then opened up the final year of the current contract for negotiation, but the members refused that option saying they would work with what they had.
The contract they have now expires next week. The company and the union are meeting at the Courtyard by Marriott. The union says they hope to have an offer to present to the 2,800 machinist workers sometime by the middle of next week. They will vote on the offer next Saturday.