Archive for Sunday, June 26, 2005

Former Boeing machinists accept contract, take 10 percent pay cut

June 26, 2005


— Former Boeing machinists approved a contract Saturday that includes a 10 percent salary cut for more than 4,000 workers at the newly formed Mid-Western Aircraft Systems but eliminates hundreds of layoffs.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers said 89 percent of votes were in favor of the five-year agreement, which the union recommended its members ratify after it was reached late Thursday.

Union representative Garland Moore said members approved the contract because it included job offers for a majority of the 1,100 workers that Onex Corp., the parent of Mid-Western Aircraft, had planned to eliminate when it took over The Boeing Co.'s commercial aircraft plant in Wichita last week.

"Reality has set in for these people. This isn't Boeing, it's a new company," Garland said. "They voted for jobs and a new beginning with the company."

Garland called the turnout "decent" but declined to provide specific numbers.

While the deal does include a steep pay cut off workers' former Boeing pay, it also contains a series of guaranteed wage increases later in the five-year contract, as well as a chance for equity in the company.

The equity participation plan provides workers with stock when certain triggering conditions are met.

The deal does not include a specific guarantee on the number of jobs that will be restored, but Moore said it would be a majority.

The week before Boeing completed its $1.2 billion sale of facilities in Wichita, Tulsa and McAlester, Okla., members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers accepted a five-year contract with Onex.

Fred Solis, a spokesman for Mid-Western Aircraft, said the company was pleased the machinists union had approved the deal.

"It's an important step for us being able to go forward and position our company to compete in a global marketplace," Solis said.


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