The Air Capital
Wichita, KS. is the Air Capital of the World. General Aviation was founded here, with legendary Companies such as Cessna, Stearman and Travel Air.
The IAM grew with Wichita. District Lodge 70 was chartered in 1942, and the union workforce helped win World War II at the Bomber Plant in Southeast Wichita, with thousands of Rosie the Riveters working around the clock.
With the end of the war, Boeing made airliners in Wichita, and general aviation took off, and Wichita continued to boom with Cessna, Beechcraft, and in the sixties, Learjet started production in Wichita.
The Union Advantage
With tens of thousands of unionized workers in Wichita earning high paychecks and good benefits, Wichita prospered. Aircraft workers spent their money at local merchants, fueling the local economy and fed the tax base, so Wichita could have god schools and Police and Fire protection.
Aviation companies pull money from around the world, and the paychecks for workers are how the money from the companies benefits the local community. The IAM bargains hard to make sure Wichita gets its cut, and the strikes occur from time to time are a benefit to the community in the long run.
The Greatest Aerospace Workers In The World
Wichita has a history of aerospace manufacturing clear back to the beginning of the industry. Wichita aircraft workers are multi-generational, with the craftsmanship passed down through three and four generations. Most aircraft workers have grandfathers or grandmothers who worked in the plants.
Highly Skilled Workforce
Aircraft is in the blood of Wichita Machinists members. The skills and knowledge are passed down through the generations in and out of the factories, but pride is the most important factor that makes Wichita great.
Skills For The Future
The Machinists Union doesn’t just bargain for pay and benefits. We look to the future, and realize that a highly-skilled workforce is important to keep jobs in Wichita. So, we bargain with the companies for increased skills training, and lobbied and worked with the local government and the companies to help create the National Center for Aviation Training in Wichita.
The Last Great American Industry
As corporations climb on the outsourcing bandwagon, so many of our industry have left our shores. The aerospace industry is the last one where America still leads on innovation and quality. The Machinists Union bargains with our companies and lobbies our government, both local and national, to keep the industry in America – and Wichita.
Breaking New Ground
The IAM in 2010 negotiated a ground-breaking partnership contract with Spirit AeroSystems that guaranteed that all jobs remained in Wichita for the 10 years of the contract. The IAM tries to put job guarantees into our contracts, and lobbies the government to include job guarantees in government assistance.
Support Our Community
The Machinists Union and its members support the AFL-CIO and United Way partnership, giving millions of dollars every year, volunteering for charity, and being there when disaster hits, such as tornadoes and storms. The IAM is there when our community needs us.
Wichita Strong, Wichita Proud
The Machinists Union has been an important part of Wichita for decades, and we’re here to make sure the aerospace industry stays in Wichita and Wichita remains the Air Capital of the World.
DISTRICT LODGE #70
I bet many of you didn’t know that we have a Retirees group that meets at District 70! Well, we do! This is a club that has been in existence for many years. We get together once a month, eat some great food that has been brought by our members and then have our meeting where we do our monthly business. But, one of the best parts is meeting new people and even running into some old friends.
This is a group where you can get involved, stay informed on topics that are important to retirees and have fun in the process. The officers of the club are elected annually, so there is a great opportunity to be a leader as well!
Help us decide which programs to fund
United Way is seeking volunteers to join its Citizens Review Process. The volunteers evaluate local agency programs and recommend funding. Volunteers will receive training and will be asked to give about 20 hours of their time during the fall, most of it during the workday. To learn more or sign up, click here.
Buffenbarger: The U.S. Air Force's Billion Dollar Mistake
In an op-ed published today in Roll Call, IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger calls on the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and Air Force to reconsider their decision to award a contract worth billions of dollars to a foreign-owned company. The contract in question ignored formal procurement processes to award a foreign company the manufacture and delivery of 20 light air support (LAS) aircraft to the Afghan Air Force, and is set to expand to hundreds of aircraft over time.