September 29, 2009
By Thomas A. Horne
According to Wichita television station KAKE-TV, Hawker Beechcraft employees staged a protest after the latest round of layoffs. On Sept. 28 Hawker Beechcraft gave 240 employees their 60-day layoff notices. But some workers question the move.
“We’re letting the community be aware of what Hawker Beechcraft is doing to the employees. They’re going around and telling everybody that we’re being laid off. We’re not being laid off. We’re being subcontracted,” said worker Debbie Thornbro. Workers assert that lower-paid substitutes will do the work. Some of the laid-off workers have been with Hawker Beechcraft for decades, and some are second- or third-generation employees.
Hawker Beechcraft spokewoman Nicole Alexander would not comment on the protest. However, she told AOPA that the company is “continually evaluating the second and third shift.”
As AOPA has previously reported, Hawker Beechcraft had laid off more than 2,600 employees this year as of the end of August. According to The Wichita Eagle, the Hawker Beechcraft has shed about 29 percent of the company’s workforce since last November, when it had a total of 9,790 employees.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
AOPA told lawmakers that a tax-abatement bill introduced in Nevada would stimulate aviation business and make more services available to members.
Mavericks aerobatic team members are a highly seasoned group of pilots who prove age is no obstacle to flying with the utmost precision. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, talks about the Pilots Bill of Rights II, legislation that would expand medical reform to include IFR. Also this week, join us for an AOPA-hosted event that teaches kids about aviation and animal rescue.
The FAA has released an eight-minute video providing aviation medical examiners with guidance on the agency's new obstructive sleep apnea policy, which takes effect March 2.
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