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.
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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.
Imagining the Future of Unions
The Kansas City Central Library and The UMKC Institute for Labor Studies present:
Bill Fletcher, Jr. - There’s no going back: Imagining the Future of Unions
Speaking on his new book: They’re Bankrupting Us and 20 Other Myths about Unions
Tuesday, March 19, 6:00 reception, 6:30 program
Central Library - 14 West 10th St.
Kansas City, MO
Bill Fletcher Jr. is a racial justice, labor and international activist and writer. His new book They’re Bankrupting Us and 20 Other Myths about Unions is on why unions are essential to their members and to democracy itself and on how working people can rebuild the labor movement. Copies of the book will be for sale, and Bill will sign them after the program.
Admission is free. RSVP 816.701.3407 or kclibrary.org
Free parking is available at the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore.
Machinists Union Backing Beechcraft over Brazil in Air Force Fighter Flap
Washington, D.C., March 8, 2013 – The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today cited the threat to 1,400 American jobs in its call for a reversal of the recent U.S. Air Force contract favoring Brazilian-based Embraer over Wichita, KS-based Beechcraft Corp.
On February 27, 2013, the Air Force announced it selected Embraer for an initial contract worth $427.5 million to build and deliver 20 Light Air Support aircraft to the Afghan Air Force. The selection process is now facing intense scrutiny for choosing a significantly more expensive aircraft in the midst of sequestration and failing to consider the impact on U.S. workers, the U.S. industrial base and U.S. national security interests.
UCAN - Union Community Activist Network Training
UCAN is a tool which helps educate union members on the importance of legislative, social and economic involvement in their community. Beginning in April 17, 2013. View the flyer for more information plus class schedules.