Bombardier Learjet officials say they’re ready to head to the bargaining table with the Machinists, who struck the company Oct. 8.
“The ball is in their hands,” said Bombardier Learjet spokeswoman Peggy Gross. “We have expressed an interest. Now we’re ready for them to respond.”
The Machinists, however, say they’re ready to return to the table only if the company is willing to negotiate on health care and put HMO plans back on the table.
Health care was the number one issue for the union.
“Learjet has not contacted us with their willingness to put health care on the table and restart negotiations,” said Machinists spokesman Bob Wood. “They have our number. … We stand ready to negotiate at anytime.”
On the company’s negotiations website, Learjet posted information about the health care plans that were part of the contract proposal that members rejected.
The additional information is to clarify points of the health care plans in the proposal, Gross said.
“We’re providing some information that we hope will help people to understand what the package looks like,” Gross said. “There’s some confusion.”
The union calls the health care plan substandard to the rest of Wichita’s aviation industry.