Union Claims Hawker Considering Move Out of Wichita
According to Machinists District 70, which represents some 2,400 hourly workers at Hawker Beechcraft, the company is considering a move away from Wichita, the OEM’s home for more than 78 years. The allegation was made in a union letter to its members on July 14, noting that such a move could shrink Hawker’s total hourly work force by as much as 75 percent within the next two years, “without a guarantee of even the last few jobs remaining.” Hawker Beechcraft responded with a brief statement: “Last September the company initiated a series of meetings to update the union leadership about serious challenges it faces during these unprecedented economic times. These conversations have included a spectrum of possibilities for the company’s future footprint and the likely impact on its work force in all its locations.” Hawker Beechcraft currently employs about 7,000 people, some 6,000 of whom are at the Wichita facility. The OEM has been particularly had hit by the recession and in the first quarter recorded a net loss of $63.4 million.