Hawker Beechcraft Workers Vote To Strike On Monday

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Hawker Beechcraft workers who belong to a machinists union rejected the company's contract offer on Saturday and voted to strike. The company said in a statement that it is "disappointed" with the decision and believes the offer was "fair and equitable." It was "the best offer made to employees in more than 20 years," the company said. The strike vote was 89 percent in favor. The union leadership said the proposed contract falls short on overtime pay, cost of living allowances, health-insurance premiums, pension issues, and a proposal to restrict sub-contracting. Union spokeswoman Rita Rogers said the negotiating committee had been "disrepected" and the company appeared to have a "hidden agenda" during negotiations. The company statement said that it had "addressed every major issue brought to the bargaining table by union leadership," and added that a contingency plan is in place to continue with operations during the strike, which is set to begin on Monday.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District Lodge 70, and Local Lodges 733 and 2328, represents about 4,700 workers at Hawker Beechcraft in Wichita and about 500 in Salina, Kans.