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Machinists union files papers opposing Hawker sale
July 16, 2012 / 9:29 PM / 5 years ago

Machinists union files papers opposing Hawker sale

(Reuters) - A machinists union on Monday said it filed papers in U.S. Bankruptcy Court challenging efforts by bankrupt jet maker Hawker Beechcraft to sell itself to a Chinese company, saying the move could cost jobs and threaten U.S. national security.

A pilot stands by his plane, a Hawker Beechcraft T-6C Texan II, during the second day of the Dubai Airshow November 14, 2011. REUTERS/Nikhil Monteiro

In a statement, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers said the sale deserved scrutiny from federal regulators, state officials and the community of Wichita, Kansas, where Hawker Beechcraft is based. It added that the sale should not be rushed through.

Hawker Beechcraft, owned by Goldman Sachs (GS.N) and Onex Corp OCX.TO, disclosed last week it was in talks regarding a $1.8 billion sale of the company with Superior Aviation Beijing Co, a 60-40 joint venture between privately owned Beijing Superior Aviation Technology Co and government backed Beijing E-Tong International Investment & Development Co [ID:nL3E8I94AT].

The deal would be subject to approval from various entities.

    The machinists union said its court filing expressed concern that the sale could result in the transfer of commercial and military-related technology to China, leading to the loss of high-paying aerospace jobs while compromising U.S. national security interests.

    The union also said the sale agreement would require the termination of Hawker’s defined benefit pension plans, including one that covers more than 3,500 machinists union members at the company.

    The proposed sale “has broad implications for the U.S. economy and national security,” machinists union International President Tom Buffenbarger said in the statement.

    “As the necessary review process has not yet commenced, giving Superior the exclusive right to negotiate the purchase of Hawker at this time is premature,” he added. (Reporting by Karen Jacobs; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

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