Several Wichita Machinists on strike

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) - Several contractors responsible for training the crew on the new KC-46 Pegasus tankers at McConnell Air Force Base are now picketing after the group rejected the latest contract offer. 

They members provide training for Air Force pilots and refuel boom operators and maintain flight simulators for the Air Force's newest high-tech refuel aircraft.

The strike began at 6 a.m. today. The 17 Machinists Union members voted 100 percent to strike and to reject the company's offer. 

The Machinists Union said the main reason the membership voted to strike was the omission of language in the company's last, best and final offer that would designate this group as part of the Service Contract Act or SCA, a government rule which requires contractors and subcontractors to pay area wages and benefits that are determined by the government. The union said without the designation, IAM members are paid 45 percent less than their counterparts working in the same industry.

"Our members of Local Lodge 708 have voted to implement their rights as union members to begin an Unfair Labor Practice strike against Flight Safety Services (FSSC)," said Tyson Kelly, District 70 Business Representative and negotiating team member. "Our members deserve to have the protections of the Service Contract Act like the hundreds of other contracts across the nation that do similar or the same type of work. These industrious men and women deserve to be protected and be able to take care of their families, as they have done for our U.S. military brothers and sisters. Our members love what they do and the services they provide to this great nation and want to keep doing it for decades to come."

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