…Workers Cry Foul Play…

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After months of tension and uncertainty in response to Raytheon’s ongoing struggle to remain afloat, the Machinists union said the decision to outsource leaves a bad taste in their mouths. “It is sad that companies are thinking of only one thing -- how cheap can they get their work done," Machinists District 70 spokesman Steve Rooney recently told The Wichita Eagle. While the company will not divulge the exact amount of operating costs saved with the outsourcing, officials did claim it was "significant.” The union officials don’t buy the company's findings, which they claim are inflated. The Machinists union claims it presented a proposal to the company that offered a feasible plan for keeping the work in Wichita. Nevertheless, in March, the company began studying Aerotec and another Mexico-based plant, assessing whether either facility could make Raytheon's wire harnesses and panels. This is the second time the plant's wire-harness workers have attempted to save the work from going across the border. Raytheon first announced that it planned to outsource the work in 2001 but the union said it constructed a plan “to improve efficiency and cut costs.” After reviewing the proposal the company announced the work would stay in Wichita. This second time around, the decision was made to move the wiring work.