Bell Helicopter Details Union Contract Offer

June 11, 2006

Fort Worth, TX - June 11, 2006 – Bell Helicopter United Aerospace Workers Local 218 production and maintenance workers voted to reject the best and final offer presented Saturday afternoon by Bell Helicopter in a bargaining session. The membership of United Aerospace Workers Local 218 held a contract vote at 2:30 Sunday at the Amon Carter Exhibit Hall in the Central Texas Room.

"We regret that the two sides were unable to reach agreement on this contract before the Sunday night deadline." said P.D. Shabay, executive vice president and chief human services officer for Bell Helicopter.

He continued, "We have been told that the Union membership will still report to work Monday morning. We will allow them to return to work without a contract while we continue to work with the Negotiating Committee."

"We believe that we bargained in good faith and presented a contract to the union that was extremely beneficial to the membership. We are sorry the membership did not feel the same way." Bell Helicopter is offering:

  • 21% Cumulative Wage Increase over the life of the contract.

  • 17% Pension Plan Monthly Multiplier increase from $51 to $60.

  • Lump sum cash bonus of $3,500 upon ratification.

  • 38 paid holidays over the three-year agreement.

  • A choice of three new health insurance plans including a Traditional HMO, an HMO Plus, and a PPO Plan. The plans cover a range of needs for employees and provide choices ranging from no employee contributions with co-insurance to a requirement for employee paid contributions with co-pays.

"This package is without question the best package offered to any aerospace workers' group in the industry, and particularly in the local area," Shabay said. "Ratification of this offer will help keep Bell Helicopter competitive in the aerospace industry. It will allow us to meet the many commitments we have to our U.S. military customer on, for instance, the V-22 and the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter 70A."

Of particular concern to the company and union leadership alike are issues surrounding health care costs. Statistics show that the average health care cost to Bell Helicopter per employee has risen three fold from 1999 when it was approximately $6000 to $18, 000 mid-year 2006.

"Our focus is on our customer and our ability to meet our commitments. We cannot compete in the world marketplace with that kind of drain on our resources. Our domestic competitors have significantly changed their health care options and our international competition is covered by national health plans," said Mr. Shabay.

"We recognize the need for good health care for all of our employees. We only ask that all our employees be prudent consumers of health care services and be more aware of medical costs they incur as individuals and as families. This change in benefits for our union-covered employees will permit us to continue making progress on completing the many programs we have and to win new competitions. That way everyone benefits with great jobs and company growth," he concluded.

More details on the specific offer as well as numerous other facts and information can be found at

Bell Helicopter is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tilt rotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell's global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.

Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) is a $10 billion multi-industry company operating in 33 countries with approximately 37,000 employees in continuing operations. The company leverages its global network of aircraft, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO and Greenlee, among others. More information is available at

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Eric Salander, Vice President, Investor Relations
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Investor Relations (401) 457-2288

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