100 pickets mark Rockwell Collins cutbacks

Some 63 custodians laid off as part of outsourcing

Fawn Shatek (right) twirls a broom as she pickets with Kelly Green (left) and members of IBEW 1362 and other union members in front of Rockwell Collins corporate offices in Cedar Rapids on Friday. More than 100 picketers rallied, carrying signs, mops and brooms. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Fawn Shatek (right) twirls a broom as she pickets with Kelly Green (left) and members of IBEW 1362 and other union members in front of Rockwell Collins corporate offices in Cedar Rapids on Friday. More than 100 picketers rallied, carrying signs, mops and brooms. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — More than 100 informational pickets, members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 1362, gathered near Rockwell Collins facilities on C Avenue NE Friday afternoon to draw attention to 63 custodians being let go from the aviation and communications giant.

The job cutbacks were related to outsourcing those services and not part of the Cedar Rapids-based company’s announcement in October that it would eliminate jobs across its global workforce in response to a slowdown in the business jet market and cost-saving measures by airlines, Rockwell spokesman Josh Baynes said on Friday.

“While we respect the right of our employees and others to voice their opinions, Rockwell Collins has been engaged in an ongoing dialogue with IBEW Local 1362 about this matter in good faith, and in full compliance with the current collective bargaining agreement, since October of 2016,” Baynes said.

IBEW officials did not respond to a request for comment.

On Friday morning, Rockwell released sales figures for its first quarter in fiscal year 2017 of $1.2 billion. That is a two percent bump over the same three-month period of last year.

“First quarter sales were as anticipated with solid growth in our Government Systems and Information Management Services segments as well as a decline in Commercial Systems sales due to headwinds from lower business jet and aftermarket sales,” Rockwell Collins Chairman, President and CEO Kelly Ortberg said in news release.

“We are making good progress with our pending acquisition of (Flordia-based) B/E Aerospace, which will strengthen our position as a leading supplier of cockpit and cabin solutions,” he added.

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