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Archive for Thursday, October 14, 2010

Offer seeks 10% pay cut to keep jobs

October 14, 2010

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— It was only two years ago that striking machinists at Hawker Beechcraft accepted a hard-fought, three-year labor contract after nearly a month on the picket lines.

But that was before a global economic downturn that devastated the aircraft manufacturing industry. And before Louisiana reportedly offered the debt-ridden aircraft maker millions in incentives to lure its 6,000 jobs to Baton Rouge.

On Saturday, machinists will vote on a new seven-year contract offer that includes a 10 percent pay cut and other labor concessions. The contract requires a simple majority for approval and there is no strike vote.

“This is do or die, if it is turned down the company says they are going to move it,” said union spokesman Bob Wood.

People in this city, which calls itself the “Air Capital of the World,” were stunned this summer at the possibility of losing to Louisiana the company founded here by early aviation pioneer Walter Beech. The “New Louisiana Purchase” screamed one headline on a union flyer. Other invectives from frightened workers were equally shrill: the jobs were alternately styled as being poached or stolen. Some held a prayer vigil for their jobs.

Talks between the company and the union on a new contract began in August, a year before the current contract was set to expire.

Five major production lines will remain in Wichita.

Some 350 salaried layoffs announced earlier will be cut by Nov. 1. In addition, the union has estimated about 820 hourly jobs in its bargaining unit will be eliminated under the contract proposal.

Comments

RoeDapple 3 years, 6 months ago

"My momma was a Cessna, I'm a son of a Beech.

Dang me, dang me, They oughta take a rope and hang me"

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somedude20 3 years, 6 months ago

yeah, this would bother me because you don't want to be flying in an airplane made by some angry machinist who is thinking more about the 10% cut rather than the bolt that needs to hold the wing together

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consumer1 3 years, 6 months ago

Can Lawrence try to steel the company for here? Those machinist probably make $35.00 an hour. Heck! I can lean on a broom as good as anyone.

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CorkyHundley 3 years, 6 months ago

Obama: Shovel Ready America

Bill Beach from Heritage points out that while America remains in the top 10 of freest countries, it has not been making progress:

"For first time in 16 years, the United States fell from the 'totally free' to 'mostly free' group. That's a terrible development," he said. He fears that if this continues, productive people will leave the United States for freer pastures.

"The United States has been this magnet for three centuries. But today money and people can move quickly, and in less than a lifetime a great country can go by the wayside."

Why is the United States falling behind? "Our spending has been excessive. ... We have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. (Government) takeovers of industries, subsidizing industries ... these are the kinds of moves that happen in Third World countries. ..."

Beach adds that the rule of law declined when the Obama administration declared some contracts to be null and void. For example, bondholders in the auto industry were forced to the back of the creditor line during bankruptcy. And there's more regulation of business, such as the Dodd-Frank law for the financial industry and the new credit-card law. But how could the United States place behind Canada? Isn't Canada practically a socialist country?

"Canada might do health care the wrong way," Beach said, "but by and large they do things the right way." Lately, Canada has lowered tax rates and reduced spending.

LOL Shovel Ready America

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 6 months ago

No doubt corp america will use hard times to cut wages at every opportunity thus reducing the standard of living in the USA.

How many times will the newer Beechcraft leadership use this tactic?

All in all this will not be good for america.

How much were the CEO and BOD pay levels reduced?

How about reduction in shareholder dividends?

Why is it the lower level pay wages always are taking the hit?

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