Bombardier Learjet machinists strike Kansas plant

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – Workers at the Bombardier Learjet plant in Wichita are striking after voting Saturday to reject a contract that would have increased health care costs.

On Monday morning, traffic at the only gate open to non-striking employees was backed up more than three miles as picketers briefly stopped vehicles attempting to enter.

Company spokeswoman Peggy Gross says the aircraft manufacturer is seeking more control over things like how long picketers can hold up cars. She says the company plans to continue production, delivery and servicing of aircraft during the strike.

Machinists’ spokesman Tony Larkin says the union is ready to negotiate anytime. He says workers recognize the aircraft market has slowed down. But he adds the burden cannot be placed on workers without sacrifices by those at the top.

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