Hazelwood, MO – The Missouri AFL-CIO, Machinists and U.S. Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) are asking GKN Aerospace CEO David Paja and GKN President of Defense Shawn Black for answers and requesting their support in saving approximately 1,000 family-sustaining jobs at GKN Aerospace.
GKN Aerospace recently announced plans to completely shut down its Hazelwood facility by the end of 2023, with layoffs commencing in mid-2022. Workers at the facility, many of whom are U.S. military veterans, have devoted their lives to proudly producing world-class aerospace components.
“The recent announcement that the facility would close next year came as a surprise for our local community, particularly given the risk of losing hundreds of good-paying jobs in the process,” wrote Reps. Bush and Cleaver in a letter to GKN leadership. “Given the impact this would have on families and our economy, our top priority is to see what can be done to keep these jobs in St. Louis.”
IAM District 837 members currently produce aircraft parts for a wide variety of U.S. Defense Department platforms, including the F-15, F-18A, CH-53, and Advanced Programs. The facility was previously owned by Boeing Co. but was purchased by GKN in 2001. In 2018, GKN was purchased by the British parent company Melrose Industries.
“IAM District 837 is grateful that Reps. Bush and Cleaver are requesting information that our members, other families of Hazelwood, and the surrounding communities need to make major decisions for their future,” said IAM District 837 President and Directing Business Representative Tom Boelling. “We hope that we can keep this plant open and continue to keep our nation safe.”
‘GKN OWES WORKERS AN EXPLANATION’
“GKN Aerospace is the company that it is today because of the generations of highly skilled workers that have dedicated their lives to producing world-class aerospace products,” said Jake Hummel, president of the Missouri AFL-CIO.
“Laying off nearly 1,000 workers, with little warning, and no explanation of why the layoffs are occurring, is unacceptable. GKN Aerospace owes these Missouri workers and their families an explanation of why their careers are disappearing. The AFL-CIO is grateful for the help of those in our Congressional delegation fighting to help save these important Missouri jobs.”
MEMBERS MADE COMPANY A MAJOR AEROSPACE SUPPLIER
“The IAM will provide the necessary resources to make sure all workers at this GKN facility in Hazelwood receive information from the company,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr.
“Our members have worked years to make this company a major supplier in the aerospace industry. The IAM will work to educate our elected officials on Capitol Hill on the importance of keeping this facility open and maintaining this highly skilled workforce.”
‘TRYING TO FIND ANSWERS’
“The IAM appreciates Reps. Bush and Cleaver for standing up for our members at GKN,” said IAM Midwest General Vice President Steve Galloway. “We are trying to find the answers to keep this facility open, especially since it plays a huge role in keeping our nation safe. IAM District 837 is fully engaged with the entire Missouri Congressional Delegation and will continue to have discussions with state and local elected officials. Our union will fight to ensure IAM members can continue their careers at GKN Aerospace.”
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) has reached out to other Missouri politicians to ask for their support and assistance in saving approximately 1,000 jobs at GKN.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers is one of the largest and most diverse industrial trade unions in North America, representing approximately 600,000 active and retired members in the aerospace, defense, airlines, railroad, transit, healthcare, automotive, and other industries.
SHOULDER-TO-SHOULDER WITH WORKERS
Bush has worked closely with local and national workers and leaders in the International Association of Machinists since she was elected to Congress to ensure that good-paying, stable, union jobs are a top priority in Missouri’s First District.
As a former union member and the daughter of a union meatcutter, Bush has a long history of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with workers in St. Louis. Her consistent and vocal support of worker rights has made her stand out as a friend of Organized Labor in St. Louis and Washington, including her advocacy for the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO Act) and the Congressional staff labor rights resolution.
Bush sits on the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, serves as the Progressive Caucus Deputy Whip and proudly represents St. Louis as an activist representative in the halls of Congress.