One day after Hawker Beechcraft kicked off negotiations with its machinist union, Cessna is starting its."I was actually going to call up Jeff Turner (Spirit AeroSystems) today and see if he didn't want to re-open that agreement so we could do three at one time," joked Tom Buffenbarger, IAM International President.
Buffenbarger and Cessna CEO Jack Pelton each made statements Friday morning. Like Hawker, both said the focus of the next contract will be on saving jobs and keeping the company viable.
Pelton tells Eyewitness News, "We're not seeing the recovery coming this year that we had anticipated. That recovery was really going to develop into growth next year and right now our crystal ball is not showing that."
Since 2008 Cessna has laid off nearly half of its work force. The plane maker currently employs about 6,000 workers, 2,500 of which make up the IAM's bargaining unit.
Union members told us Friday that job security, pension and health care are their top priorities. But with Spirit recently adopting an unprecedented ten year contract, length is becoming an additional worry for workers.
"What if the economy goes up in the middle of that ten year contract and we don't get anything out of it?" asked one bargaining unit member.
Pelton and Buffenbarger said Cessna's negotiations will focus on what's best for the company and its workers, not what other aircraft makers are doing.