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Hawker Beechcraft headed to the bayou?

If information from the Hawker Beechcraft union is correct, the entire factory could take its 6,000 Wichita workers to Louisiana, possibly Baton Rouge. City officials there acknowledge they have expressed interest.

Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson has called a meeting for Oct. 5 with Hawker Beechcraft and union officials to find a way to counter the Louisiana offer, according to a story in the Wichita Eagle .

The machinists union in Wichita said Louisiana has made a much larger offer in recent weeks that would require moving the entire Hawker Beechcraft company and its 6,000 Wichita-based employees to Louisiana. Union officials said they believe there is a chance to keep part of the Hawker Beechcraft work in Wichita.

A planned contract vote Oct. 9 has been canceled, since a vote on the Louisiana move would be critical to any deal approved by Hawker Beechcraft and Louisiana. Scheduling of the vote must wait on further progress on the proposed move.

“This is cold, hard reality, brothers and sisters,” the Wichita union told its members. “What is happening is wrong, but we must face it head-on anyway. We will keep you informed as this effort develops.”

Alton Marsh

Alton K. Marsh

Freelance journalist
Alton K. Marsh is a former senior editor of AOPA Pilot and is now a freelance journalist specializing in aviation topics.

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