Oct 8 Members of the machinists union went on
strike at the Bombardier Inc Learjet facility in
Wichita, Kansas, on Monday after rejecting a contract offer that
would raise healthcare costs.
Bob Wood, a spokesman for the International Association of
Machinists and Aerospace Workers, said union members were
walking picket lines on Monday at the Bombardier aircraft plant
after they voted to reject the contract proposal. The union
represents 825 workers who build jets at the Wichita plant.
Wood said the key issue was healthcare, as Bombardier's
proposal would eliminate two HMO plans and sharply increase
out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs.
He also said the company's proposed five-year contract would
allow no raises the first year and increases of 1 percent for
each of the next four years.
"Whenever they are ready to put those HMOs back on the
table, we're certainly ready to negotiate, but not until then,"
Peggy Gross, a representative for Bombardier, a Canadian
company, said the jet maker implemented strike contingency plans
to minimize impact on production and deliveries. She said the
company hoped to resume negotiations soon.
"The company put forth what it believes is a fair proposal
for the long-term success of the company and for our employees,"