Cessna Strike Possible

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Cessna production workers could strike as early as Monday morning depending on the outcome of a weekend strike vote by the machinists union. The union is recommending the members reject Cessna's offer of a seven-year contract, largely because they say it does not offer enough job security. The contract guarantees that final assembly of existing Citation models will stay in Wichita but workers interviewed by the Wichita Eagle as they left the polling station on Saturday seemed dissatisfied with that position. "I just wanted more job security," 36-year employee Ron Russell said. "I was ready and willing to take it on the chin for wages and stuff," Russell said. "But I'm not willing to take it in the back ... I see all the takeaways." Russell said he was recently told his job will be done in Mexico.

The union represents about 2,400 workers in Wichita and two-thirds majority is required for a strike. A simple majority is needed to reject the current offer. Those leaving the polling booths seemed acutely aware of the predicament they and the company are in. "From a strike, you lose; if you don't strike, you lose," Cavender said. "You are between a rock and a hard place." The contract also calls for an increase in health insurance payments by workers.