Air Capital Insider

October 4, 2012

Machinists negotiators recommend rejection of Learjet labor contract and a strike

Air Capital Insider

Jerry Siebenmark shares inside knowledge of Wichita's aviation industry.

Negotiators for the Machinists union recommend its members at Bombardier Learjet reject the company’s proposal of a five-year labor contract and vote to strike when they go to the polls on Saturday.

The offer gives no raises in the first year of the contract and a 1 percent raise in each of the four years after.

It retains pension plans for the represented workers, but increases health care costs dramatically, said union spokesman Bob Wood.

A main sticking point is the length of the contract, Wood said.

The company kept noting how the market for business jets is weak, Wood said.

But it will turn around, he said.

In the meantime,”they’re trying to lock us in,” he said.

A three-year agreement would be better because the situation could be readdressed at that time.

Union members are scheduled to vote at the Cotillion Ballroom on Saturday.

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