IAM Members of Local 639 in Wichita, KS who assemble Learjets for Bombardier Aerospace voted to authorize a strike after rejecting a new 3-year contract from the Montreal-based plane maker. The strike, which is the first by Machinists at the Wichita facility, was endorsed by 80 percent of the voting members.
The nearly 1,100 IAM members at Bombardier accepted a pay freeze three years ago, when the industry was in a slump and company claimed it needed to cut costs and threatened to close one or two plants. The picket lines are up and the picketers are showing strong resolve. No new talks are scheduled.