Textron Aviation and labor union reach deal on new contract

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Beginning Monday, a new contract will go into effect after Textron Aviation and its labor union reached a deal.

Saturday morning, hundreds of machinist union members made their way to Century II to vote on whether or not to accept the contract offered by Textron.

“It was kind of overwhelmingly in the favor of the contract,” said Cornell Beard, IAM District 70 President.

The contract giving protection for more than half of the workers at Textron.

From overwhelmed to breathing a sigh of relief that’s how Nanci Ekeler, who has worked in the aviation industry for 30 years, feels, “I was praying for this. I’m excited and I’m glad to be going back to work on Monday.”

Ahead of negotiations members of the union voiced their want for better healthcare, pensions, and wages. There were even preparations to strike if the contract was rejected.

Beard believed that the uncertainty of the pandemic played a roll in the vote, “Timing couldn’t be worse but like I said before I know this group and I know that they’re gonna get theirs and one way or another we’re gonna do that. Had it not been for COVID I think that we’d been walking right now.”

All in all, Beard says this deal is a step in the right direction.

“We didn’t get everything that we would’ve liked to but again, we got a bunch of small bites at some things back,” Beard said.

“There were some things that we could work on as always and some people more so than others but I think it was fair,” Ekeler said.

Below is a press release released by a company spokesperson from Textron Aviation.

Textron Aviation Negotiations Statement (Attributable to Company Spokesperson) 

  • Textron Aviation is pleased that our hard-working employees voted to ratify the new contract between the company and District 70, Local Lodge 774 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW). 
  • The four-year contract was accepted on Saturday, September 19, and takes effect on Monday, September 21.
  • Textron Aviation’s goal was to support our people and find mutually beneficial ways for a sustainable future, seeking stability in an otherwise uncertain environment. 
  • Through this collaborative effort, we were able to reach an agreement that allows us to weather this challenging economy, take care of our employees, and eventually return to growing our business. 
  • We remain focused on building our future together.

Quote from Ron Draper, President & CEO, Textron Aviation 

“Textron Aviation is proud to call Wichita home for nine decades. Our future continues to be strengthened by the dedication of our world-class workforce. Together, we extend our legacy as the leaders in general and business aviation right here in the Air Capitol of the World.” 

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