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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Machinist Union members are protecting themselves from Cessna in Wichita

When times are tough, people with jobs can count on their jobs getting tougher. It seems that many businesses seem to believe that it is easier to take a persons position and split the work up on others.

That prevents them from hiring new people and ends up with workers that are still in a business working them selves to death trying to keep up and save the scarce job they have.
It is no surprise that after years of business as usual, the Machinists Union, Local 774 at Cessna is calling for a strike.
From the Machinists News Network;
"When negotiations started with Cessna, the IAM committed to partner with the company to survive the current recession, and to save and create jobs for the future," said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez. "It soon became obvious that the parent company Textron had a radically different agenda."

IAM members of Local 774 in Wichita, KS, are weighing a seven-year takeaway contract offer from Cessna that is devoid of any wage increases for the first four years for anyone, and no increases for 25 percent of the membership. Instead, the company proposed a "performance pay" system that would be managed exclusively by management, which may never pay a dime. Members vote on the offer Saturday.”

The company is demanding to gut the traditional healthcare plan and replacing it with a “consumer-driven” plan that raises premiums by as much as 160 percent. Future increases in health care cost will be passed on to the membership and the company can change the plan’s rules at any time.
The company also refuse to agree on keeping significant work here in Wichita. At a time when people worry about losing their jobs, Cessna refuses any promise of guaranteed work here.

Cessna wants a contract without giving its workers anything other than cost cutting measures at the workers expense. It is no surprise the union is rejecting this. It’s not about the workers getting more; it’s about them not losing what they have.
According to The Wichita Eagle;

” Cessna chairman and CEO Jack Pelton said in a statement that the contract is fair given the challenges the company faces in the economy and in the industry.”
But if the economic challenges mean that Cessna is just looking out for itself and not the workers, then the workers have to look out for what is best for them.

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