By Russ Niles, Editor-in-Chief
Production workers at Cessna Aircraft rejected the notion of a strike but they also told the company they don’t much like the contract they’ll work under for the next seven years. Members of the Machinists Union voted 58 percent to reject the deal but only 49 percent to strike in voting Saturday. The union had recommended a strike but a two-thirds majority was required. The main issue was job security. Cessna has guaranteed final assembly of existing Citation models at the Wichita plant for the life of the contract. “We understand the times we’re in today,” Machinists District 70 directing business representative Steve Rooney told The Wichita Eagle. “A paycheck is a hard thing to give up.” CEO Jack Pelton was disappointed at the rejection of the contract but pleased the strike vote didn’t fly.
“We are satisfied to begin this next week with a new contract in place so we can move forward with our efforts to reshape Cessna to be more competitive in a global market and a tough economy,” Pelton said in the statement. “We presented the members a contract that was more than fair, given our business environment. And while we are disappointed they rejected the offer, we appreciate the membership’s willingness to continue to put the customer first, knowing that will lead to success for all.”
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