Onex has made its "last, best, and
final offer" to the union workers at Boeing's Wichita plant. The
offer cuts wages 10 percent to start, but provides for raises and
potential stock options in the new company. Members will vote on
the contract May 24th.
"When Onex makes money, our people make money," said Machinist
union aerospace coordinator Dick Schneider, to the Wichita Eagle.
Onex's offer includes a Machinists union defined pension plan and a
performance bonus, but increases health care costs to the
Machinists District 70 president Steve Rooney told the Eagle
that Onex said during negotiations it will make job offers to 90
percent or more of the 5,300 workers in the commercial aircraft
division represented by the Machinists union.
Rooney said Onex's offer improved in the past few days of
"There's a lot at stake here," Schneider said to the Eagle. "If
this thing doesn't go through, Onex is going back to Canada, and
Boeing intends to chop it up." He also said that the two companies
"made their intentions clear to us."
In an equity participation plan, shares will be allocated to
members when the company takes over, union officials said. The
shares would be valued based on work the new company has
With current work at the site and future 787 work, each
employee's shares could be worth around $30,000 according to Steve
Sleigh, Machinists union director of strategic resources.
New work for the site could push the
value significantly higher, but Sleigh cautioned, "This is not a
guarantee." The value will be based on the underlying performance
of the company.
And employees will not be able to cash in their stock unless
Onex sells, merges or takes the company public. Union leaders say
that is likely within three to five years.
The contract offer also includes the chance for the union to
renegotiate wages and benefits in the third year. There will be
wage increases of 2 percent in the second year, 3 percent in the
third year and 3 percent in the fourth year of the contract along
with a performance bonus that pays out in 2007 if the company hits
financial targets set in 2006. The offer also allows employees of
the new company to collect $60 a month for each year of service
when they retire.