August 22, 2006 – In a move that will preserve more than 300 American manufacturing jobs, Eaton Corp. reversed an earlier decision and announced today it will continue to operate its Hutchinson, KS hydraulics facility. The announcement follows months of negotiations between the IAM, company representatives, local government officials and Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.
“After talking to the president of the corporation and then talking to the representatives of the local machinists, I knew that, given a chance, that our labor leaders and workers here in Hutch could come up with an innovative package to save these jobs,” said Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius. “I’m so pleased to be here today with the announcement that we are saving jobs in Kansas.”
Local and state authorities came up with millions in cost savings and tax abatements for the company, and IAM-represented workers at the facility agreed to a three-year pay freeze. “This is all about finding new and innovative ways to make sure a company stays competitive, while protecting the workers and their families,” said Steve Rooney, IAM District Lodge 70 Directing Business Representative.
“This is an example of what unions can accomplish under challenging circumstances,” said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez. “With solid support from the community and help from public officials like Gov. Sebelius, we were able to negotiate a resolution that protected livelihoods of hundreds of hard-working Kansans. Today’s announcement would not have been possible without the leadership of District 70 DBR Steve Rooney, his staff and the solidarity of all the IAM members at Eaton.”