The IAM Local 774 (District 70) Negotiating Committee representing more than 2,500 members officially opened negotiations with Textron Aviation in Wichita, KS this week. In June the membership rejected an offer from the company to open negotiations early. The current contract expires September 20, 2020.
Southern Territory General Vice President Rickey Wallace, Aerospace General Vice President Mark Blondin, Special Representative Benji Sullivan and Aerospace Coordinator Tony Wirth were in attendance with negotiation committee members on Monday for the opening talks.
“The membership of IAM Local 774 sent a clear message that they want a fair and equitable agreement with Textron,” said Wallace. “Our members at 774 build some of the world’s best aircraft and should have a bargaining agreement with competitive wages, healthcare, job security and retirement. The Southern Territory offers all of its resources and unwavering support to assist during these negotiations.”
“Our members who build aircraft for Textron Aviation are highly skilled and dedicated to making the company successful,” said Blondin. “It’s time for Textron to invest in the people who make them the respectable aircraft manufacturer they are.”
“I believe the skilled employees and hard-working people of this community deserve a great contract agreement from Textron Aviation. It is time that employees are compensated for their hard work.” said District 70 President and Directing Business Representative Cornell Beard. “The outcome from these negotiations doesn’t only affect the people working there, but it undoubtedly affects our community. We hope and pray for the best outcome, one that benefits the whole.”
“The entire Machinists Union stands with the negotiating committee and membership of Local 774,” said International President Robert Martinez Jr. “These highly-skilled workers deserve a contract that reflects the quality work they perform. The IAM Grand Lodge will deploy all resources necessary to make sure our Local 774 membership has everything they need to secure a strong contract.”