Oct 8 (Reuters) - Members of the machinists union went on strike at Bombardier Learjet's facility in Wichita, Kansas, on Monday after rejecting a contract offer that would raise healthcare costs.
Bob Wood, a spokesman for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, said union members were walking picket lines on Monday at the Bombardier aircraft plant after 79 percent of them voted to reject the company's contract proposal. The union represents 825 workers who build jets at the Wichita plant.
Wood said the key issue was healthcare, as Bombardier's proposal would eliminate two HMO plans and sharply increase workers' out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs.
He also said the company's proposed five-year contract would allow no raises the first year and increases of 1 percent for each of the next four years.
"Whenever they are ready to put those HMOs back on the table, we're certainly ready to negotiate but not until then," said Wood.
A representative for Bombardier, a Canadian company, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Karen Jacobs; Editing by David Gregorio)
Keywords: BOMBARDIER STRIKE/