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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Machinists to start talks with Cessna, too

BY MOLLY McMILLIN
The Wichita Eagle

Contract negotiations between Cessna Aircraft and the Machinists union will open Friday.

That's a day after talks between the Machinists and Hawker Beechcraft will reopen.

With two rounds of talks ongoing, "It's going to be a juggling act," said Machinists aerospace coordinator Ron Eldridge.

Machinists District 70 president Steve Rooney said negotiations with Cessna won't be easy.

"Our membership has seen a tremendous loss of jobs here," he said. "Job security continues to be a priority."

Other priorities include health care and pensions.

In the economic downturn that hurt the business jet industry, Cessna has cut thousands of jobs. It also is in the midst of sending some parts work to Mexico.

The union currently represents 2,300 hourly workers at Cessna. During the last round of negotiations three years ago, the union represented 6,200 Cessna workers.

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com.

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