August 14, 2007 – Local 774 in Wichita, KS opened contract negotiations this week with Cessna Aircraft for 5,400 workers at the manufacturer’s Wichita facilities. International President Tom Buffenbarger, Headquarters GVP Rich Michalski and Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez helped open the negotiations.
The IAM leadership and negotiating committee sported buttons that said “Squawk-free contract” and “Definity means Strike.” Definity is the unpopular, high-deductible health care plan that is one of the three options for employees.
“We’re looking forward to sitting down with the company and we believe we’ll come up with a pace-setting contract for the aviation industry,” said Aerospace Coordinator Ron Eldridge.
“We are beginning these talks in positive times,” said IP Buffenbarger. “There’s strong demand for our product; we have backlogs of orders. But we want to make sure that we don’t become complacent, thinking this will last forever. We need to build a good contract for our members to keep going now and to preserve good jobs and good benefits when times lean out.”
“The membership wants a stronger pension plan. It’s time to bring the IAM Pension Plan to Cessna Aircraft,” said GVP Martinez.
The current contract expires Sept. 16.