Machinist's Union attempts to block sale of aircraft company to Chinese firm
A follow up on a story we brought to you earlier this month: On July 10, we reported that U.S. business jet manufacturer Hawker Beechcraft had filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy and was in talks with a Chinese aerospace firm.
More recently, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), the union for Hawker Beechcraft, decided to attempt to block the sale of the company.
Roxana Hegeman, writing for the Associated Press, reports that the union says such a sale would “give China access to technology it doesn't yet possess and would saddle American taxpayers with paying the Wichita-based company's underfunded pension obligations.”
The union has not found support for blocking the sale among Kansas’s congressional delegation. The union’s concerns, for the most part, have been brushed aside.
While Hawker Beechcraft insists Superior will keep its U.S. headquarters, the union is not convinced and cites past practice by Superior’s majority owner, Shenzong Cheng:
Another of (Cheng’s) companies, after forming a joint venture with a Texas helicopter maker in 2009, moved all manufacturing to China, leaving only its parts and services department in Texas.
Security analysts disagree as to the severity of the security threat where the sale of Hawker Beechcraft is concerned, but the union’s spokesman, Matthew McKinnon sees that as a major part of the problem:
We have piece-by-piece been giving away to the Chinese government technology we say isn't sensitive but ends up in the products that their defense establishment builds. And that has been happening for 25 years.”
Read more here.
Photo by Flickr user Curimedia and used following Creative Commons guidelines.
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