Machinists, Hawker To Reopen Contract Talks

By: Wichita Business Journal Email
By: Wichita Business Journal Email

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Leaders of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers told members Friday the union will reopen negotiations with Hawker Beechcraft Corp. next week.

The union told members the two sides had been talking for several weeks about reopening contract talks. Negotiations are scheduled to begin Thursday.

The notice from the negotiating committee says not reopening negotiations with Hawker “would be grim, drastically affecting the employment levels and the future of Wichita operations.”

Hawker CEO Bill Boisture says the company is considering U.S. locations and some outside the country to relocate some work.

Rich Jiwanlal, Hawker’s vice president of human resources, says reports that the company will eliminate 50-75 percent of its Wichita work force in the next two years are not true.

The work force reduction claim came from District 70 Machinists’ Union President Steven Rooney, after talks with the company.

If the union presents a contract for its rank and file to vote on, it will be a straight up or down vote. The negotiating committee says no strike vote will be taken, and they cannot strike on the proposal.

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Hawker Beechcraft's statement on the negotiations:

We continue to experience unprecedented times for the business and general aviation industry worldwide and in Wichita.

We have been meeting with the Union leadership for the last several weeks in a constructive and frank manner to discuss these challenges and potential solutions. We have been open about these discussions being vitally important to the future presence of Hawker Beechcraft in Wichita.

From these conversations, the Union leaders have agreed to open negotiations and we are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with them to do so.

As we begin this process, we are confident these discussions will continue to focus on all aspects that are required to strengthen Hawker Beechcraft and sustain it for the future.


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