In a move that will cost 2,100 jobs, the Boeing Company announced this week it will close its military aircraft plant in Wichita, KS and move the work to Texas and Oklahoma. The IAM represents about 450 members at the facility, which performs modifications of military aircraft, in addition to work on Air Force One.
The closure announcement follows earlier assurances that Boeing had no plans to abandon Wichita and that as many as 7,500 jobs could be added if the company won the $35 billion Air Force refueling tanker contract. Despite winning the tanker contract in November, the company announced it was considering shutting the facility.
“This is a bitter disappointment for the members who lobbied hard to ensure Boeing won the tanker contract,” said District 70 President Steve Rooney. “Until there is a clear national strategy to protect aircraft manufacturing jobs in the United States, the trend to relocate work to low-cost locations, both here and abroad, will continue.”