Textron Aviation, labor union accept new contract

Published: Sep. 19, 2020 at 4:54 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Textron Aviation and its labor union accepted a new contract that will take effect Monday.

Members of the union gathered at Century II Saturday morning where they were briefed on the new contract before voting to accept it, or reject it and strike.

“Textron Aviation is proud to call Wichita home for nine decades,” Ron Draper, President and CEO of Textron Aviation said in a release. “Our future continues to be strengthened by the dedication of our world-class workforce. Together, we extend our legacy as the leaders in general and business aviation right here in the Air Capitol of the World.”

The contract lasts for four years and will cover thousands of workers.

The new contract gives workers wage increases of 2-3% each year over four years and a choice between four health plans.

“Going back to work would be, in this particular case they did get some increases,” Shaun Junkins with District Lodge 40 said. “So, Monday morning everybody’s pay will be going up that’s under that umbrella, except the ones that were redlined in. But the others will be getting raises.”

Junkins said for the most part, this could be considered a win for Textron workers, but thinks there are still improvements that need to be made in the future.

Some union workers told Eyewitness New they voted against the deal.

“We have different pensions, some of us have no pensions,” Dawn Beyreuther, a local Lodge 774 member, said. “We’ve got some of the worst health insurance I’ve ever seen. And they tried to assuage us by adding more to an HSA account, which now our deductibles will probably go up, so we still cannot afford it.”

“The reason I took the job was the good pay, and the excellent benefits,” union member Kim Webb said. “Over the last 22 years they’ve stripped and clawed away at every benefit we have.”

The union wasn’t able to give us the exact voting numbers, but since a majority voted in favor, there will not be a strike.

Workers will also have a choice between four healthcare plans and Junkins said there were also increases in other benefits.

“We did get some increased on GWI, increases in pension,” Junkins said. “They worked on the insurance, the membership wasn’t happy with the insurance changes, so there were some changes there. So the benefits in 401k and other areas did have some increases.”

He said he wasn’t sure how the results would turn out Saturday since he’s heard mixed feedback from members the past week.

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