And, being aircraft workers, we know how big that is!
Of course, Hawker Beechcraft has entered full CYA mode. HBC CEO Jim Schuster issued a letter to all employees (available here) trying to tamp down the furor over Project Pelican. The Wichita Eagle wrote about it this morning:
"At this time we do not have plans for full aircraft assembly in Mexico," Hawker Beechcraft chairman and chief executive Jim Schuster said in the letter to employees.
If the company decides to expand further, "we will promptly and fully communicate this to all employees," he said.Ummm... okay...
Wow. We can rest easy now, eh?
So, TOMORROW, they can have plans for full aircraft assembly in Mexico, right?
The IAM is talking about next year, in five years, in ten years. There's too many shuttered factories in America already!
Also from the article:
The Machinists union is skeptical of the company's plans.
Saying there are no plans for full assembly in Mexico at this time "is a loophole you can fly a 747 through," said Machinists spokesman Bob Wood. "That doesn't mean that their plans won't change tomorrow."
Before the company moved its wire harness work to Mexico, the union was assured the work was staying in Wichita, Wood said.
"One year later, it left," he said. The company will "give us assurances until it's too late."
Wood noted that one of the points in the document says to never mention the potential of full aircraft assembly.
Right now, the company has plenty of orders, and workers can move to other jobs. But it's a cyclical business, Wood said.
"When things slow down, then where will the jobs be?" he said.As a community, we have too much invested in his industry not to be very worried about Project Pelican. We have every right to expect them to tell the truth - and good reasons to doubt that they are.
Maybe Hawker Beechcraft thinks this will kill the story. It won't. There's more to come, this story won't die. Stay tuned!