KAKE | Wichita, Kansas | Political News | KAKEland Votes

Hawker, Machinists Reach Contract Deal

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Hawker Beechcraft and the International Association of Machinists have reached a tentative agreement on a contract, union members said.

The five-year contract will keep current pay levels for the next two years, adding a one-percent increase each year starting in 2013.

The contract also calls for union members to transition to a company health care plan starting in January 2012. Employees medical share will adjust over the next five years: 2012 - 15% 2013 - 20% 2014 - 25% 2015 - 30% 2016 - 30%.

The company will match 50-percent of the first 4-percent of an employee's 401K contribution. A $1 pension plan increase will be added in 2016.

Union members held a rally in downtown Wichita Friday, expressing concern over job security and benefits.

Hawker outlined job security in the contract, saying: "For the term of this agreement, the company will maintain an aircraft manufacturing presence in Wichita, Kansas for composites, assembly, test, paint, inspection, planning, and aircraft completion and delivery."

The two sides will also develop a joint partnership re-training to ensure future success at Hawker.

Union leaders are recommending members approve the contract. A vote is scheduled for Saturday, August 6. The current contract expires August 7.

Statement from Hawker Chairman and CEO Bill Boisture;

“We have approached this contract in the spirit of partnering together to forge a future under the

present conditions and in light of an outlook for the next few years that are unprecedented in our

industry. Of equal importance is the focus that our partnership must also support a future of efficient

growth with increases in employment when market conditions warrant.

“We have been working diligently to create a future for Hawker Beechcraft and to protect two of the greatest brands in Business and General Aviation. This is the key piece in our efforts to maintain a
high-quality aircraft assembly footprint in Wichita. We have agreements with our suppliers; the backing of the city, county and state; and now an agreement on the table with the IAM."

“We have a competitive five-year proposal that includes general wage increases and the opportunity for employees to receive up to 3.8 percent additional pay if the company meets its financial targets
through our performance pay program. We have also created a joint partnership committee with the IAM that will help us focus on the key needs of continuous operational improvement.
“With approval of this agreement, I believe there is great opportunity to grow efficiently in the future and add high quality jobs in Wichita as we do. I am confident in our partnership and that we will have positive outcome for our customers and for all the people of Hawker Beechcraft.”

KAKE aviation reporter Chris Frank will have more on this developing story, and reaction from IAM on later KAKE newscasts.


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