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Machinist Union members at Bombardier Learjet in Wichita went on strike at midnight at the plant in west Wichita. Early today, sign-carrying union members were walking back and forth at the Tyler Road entrance to the plant under large spotlights. Around 6 a.m., one officer said traffic on Tyler Road was nearly impassable because of the slow-moving cars.
Union officials say 95 percent of the 825 union members voted on Saturday. Of those, 79 percent voted to go on strike.
Health care benefits and the length of the contract were two reasons cited by the union. Union members say they can live with an annual 1 percent raise over the length of the contract, but they say an extra $100 or more a month for health insurance is too much.
This is the second strike in the plant's history. There was a three-week strike in 2006.