Union officials confirm that contract negotiations between Hawker Beechcraft and the local machinist union have been suspended. No contract will be offered this week after officials reported that a coming offer would likely be voted on next Saturday.
Union spokesperson Bob Wood confirmed for KAKE News that the company has received a "large" offer from the state of Louisiana that would involve moving the entire company to Baton Rouge, LA.
Now, Wood says union officials are expected to meet with Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson and HBC CEO Bill Boisture. That meeting is expected to take place this Tuesday.
A flyer was passed out at the machinist union monthly meeting in Wichita Saturday morning.
"The state of Kansas has worked hard with the IAM and business leaders to support our aerospace industry. Our international president believes that there is a realistic chance to keep part of Hawker Beechcraft in Wichita," the note says. "It's in the hands of the governor and the state of Kansas and the IAM will do everything it can to help make it a reality."
"This is cold, hard reality, brothers and sisters," the note explained. "What is happening is wrong, but we must face it head-on."
Union spokesperson Bob Wood then issued this letter in response:
"Hawker Beechcraft has informed your NegotiatingCommittee that they have received a much larger offer from the state of Louisiana, that would mean moving theentire Hawker Beechcraft company, including ALL facilitiesand the corporate headquarters, to Baton Rouge.
HBC would no longer exist in Kansas. Every hourly employee,
engineer and any other non-bargaining employeewill lose their jobs!
Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson has contacted IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger to set up a meeting with the IAM, HBC CEO Bill Boisture, and the Governor’s office.
The Governor has indicated there may be assistance available to sustain a portion of the HBC jobs inWichita. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct 5.
The state of Kansas has worked hard with the IAM and business leaders to support our aerospace industry. Our International President believes that there is a realistic chance to keep part of Hawker Beechcraft in Wichita. It’s in the hands of the Governor and the state of Kansas, and the IAM will do everything it can to help make it a reality. The IAM believes it is imperative for the Governor to leave absolutely no stone unturned to save every job possible at HBC.
During the meeting Friday, your Negotiating Committee was informed of the offer, HBC suspended negotiations at this time. Further negotiations will be contingent upon what Governor Parkinson can do. The contract vote scheduled for Saturday Oct. 9th has been canceled.
If Kansas were able to make an offer to HBC that could save some Wichita jobs, the membership ratifying a re-negotiated contract would be a key part of the final deal to keep those jobs in Wichita.
This is cold, hard reality, brothers and sisters. What is happening is wrong, but we must face it head-on anyway. We will keep you informed as this effort develops.
Your Negotiating Committee"
This is a developing story. Stay with KAKE News and kake.com for the latest developments regarding Hawker Beechcraft.