HAZELWOOD, Mo.--In a move taken right out of the Corporate America playbook, GKN Aerospace has recently informed the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM), District 837 that it will be laying off more than 300 union workers at its St. Louis facility and shipping their jobs to a right-to-work state.
GKN has confirmed that the company plans to shut down its St. Louis Composites Department and move the bonding mechanic work to its facility in Tallassee, Ala. – a right-to-work state.
“GKN gathered its employees, some of the highest-skilled aerospace workers in the country, and informed them that the company planned to kick its more than 300 bonding mechanics to the curb and ship their jobs to plants where workers are paid nearly half their wages,” said IAM District 837 Directing Business Representative Stephen McDerman. “In true corporate fashion, GKN has decided to turn its back on middle-class workers in an attempt to turn a few extra bucks on the backs of other workers who don’t have a union and a means to demand fair wages and a safe work environment. When you ask who is destroying American manufacturing? It’s companies like GKN and the likes, whose collective actions are impoverishing our entire country as we speak.”
IAM workers at GKN build precision composite parts for U.S. military fighter jets that help keep our nation’s military pilots safe in combat – a job that requires high skills.
McDerman says that as of right now, there are roughly 314 bonding mechanics actively working in the St. Louis plant and 18 still on layoff from February 2015.
GKN has not confirmed the exact date of the closure.
The IAM is actively working to gather more information.
“Our first priority is protecting our members’ jobs,” said McDerman in a memo to IAM members at GKN. “It is important that we stay united and focused in our purpose.”
The IAM is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America and represents nearly 600,000 active and retired members in aerospace, transportation, manufacturing, shipbuilding, woodworking and other industries. Visit IAM837.org for more information.