Archive for Thursday, October 14, 2010

Offer seeks 10% pay cut to keep jobs

October 14, 2010


— 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.


Richard Heckler 7 years, 7 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?

notajayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

You tell em'. Mertle!

Tell them to stand firm, don't give back a dime!

After all, the bigger the paycheck, the bigger the unemployment check will be!

[rolling eyes]

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

'Use this tactic', merrill? The company is losing about $20 million/month this year. You buying a plane to help out, are you?

"How much were the CEO and BOD pay levels reduced?"

Didja' happen to read the part about 350 salaried layoffs?

"How about reduction in shareholder dividends?"

Um, merrill? Maybe you don't quite understand how this works, but, see, when a company loses money, there ARE no dividends. (Besides which, Hawker-Beechcraft is owned by a parent company - maybe you think the shareholders of that parent company have some obligation to keep pouring money into a subsidiary that's losing millions?)

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

This is one of the things that always cracks me up about the socialist whiners so prevalent on these message boards: If the company is making money, they have some kind of obligation to share those profits with the workers, because after all it's only because of the workers that they made a profit; but if the company loses money, don't ask the workers to give up anything, because after all, they have no control over whether the company makes any money.

What a joke.

notajayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

And by the way, mertle, Hawker's CEO took a 10% pay cut last year, around the time they eliminated 3 vice presidents' positions.

Maddy Griffin 7 years, 7 months ago

I thought I read somewhere that they're moving to Germany?

somedude20 7 years, 7 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

RoeDapple 7 years, 7 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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