Bell: No Delivery Disruptions in Wake of Texas Strike

 - June 30, 2009, 11:47 AM

Negotiations are expected to resume tomorrow between Bell Helicopter and the more than 2,400 production and maintenance workers from United Auto Workers Local 218 that went on strike two weeks ago after rejecting a “last, best, and final offer” from the helicopter manufacturer. The offer to the Fort Worth, Texas-based employees included $4,500 individual signing bonuses, improvements to the pension plan and pay raises of 18.7 percent over three years. However, it also increased employees’ health care premiums. Engine and drive train components for the company’s helicopter are made by Local 218 production workers. Bell did reach a new three-year agreement with UAW Local 317, representing 340 Bell office and clerical workers also in Fort Worth, on Sunday. Contracts with two other unions, representing security employees and production engineers in Fort Worth, are scheduled to expire in August. Bell spokesman Tom Dolney insisted that the strike would not affect aircraft deliveries. Bell’s civil helicopters are manufactured in Montreal, where workers are not on strike.