Cessna, Union Hold Talks

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Just as the long-awaited recovery in the aviation business is starting to take hold, Cessna and its largest union have started bargaining toward a new contract. According to a story in the Wichita Business Journal, the union is aware of the delicate nature of the business as it begins talks. "Remember, it only takes one more stupid act to throw this critical and sensitive industry into turmoil," said Tom Buffenbarger, president of the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers (and author of rather candid quotes). The current contract expires in September. Although all the usual issues (wages, benefits, job security, etc.) are on the table for these negotiations, there's a particular emphasis on health-care costs, something Buffenbarger says should be debated in a larger forum. "It's going to require enlightened minds from the realm of management, from labor, from the medical community and certainly with deep involvement from our government to take this issue off the bargaining table and put it in the realm of a national debate where it's a national solution we search for and we devise," he said. Something tells us that isn't going to get done by September (of an election year, no less).