Parkinson: State must work to keep Hawker Beechraft jobs

Kansas must do everything possible to keep Hawker Beechcraft jobs in Wichita, Gov. Mark Parkinson said Friday.

The governor met with Hawker Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture, who said last week that the company is looking at Louisiana, Mississippi and places outside the U.S. as potential places to move work.

"If we can get close to what we need with Hawker Beechcraft, we can go to the Legislature to fill the gap," Parkinson said.

But it must make economic sense for the state to do so, he said.

If it does, "we'll get it done, even if it takes a special session of the legislature," Parkinson said.

According to Machinist union officials, Hawker Beechcraft is considering scenarios that would cut 50 to 75 percent of its Wichita hourly work force.

The company wants to reopen negotiations with the union and is requesting a long-term agreement.

On Thursday, the Machinists received the last of the information they requested from the company before they make a decision on reopening talks, said Machinist District 70 president Steve Rooney.

The union has forwarded that information to its headquarters for analysis, Rooney said.

"We should have that back very soon," he said.

When they do, union officials will meet with the negotiating team to decide what they will do, Rooney said.

In the meantime, the union has assigned a subcommittee to meet with the company daily, he said.