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June 22, 2009


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Upon the full union’s vote to accept a new contract for workers at Vance Air Force Base, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, made the following statement on the end of the strike:
“Having flown to Enid two weeks ago Sunday in an attempt to head off the strike, I am pleased that today’s full union vote finally brings the standoff at Vance Air Force Base to an end.  Based upon the meetings I had in Enid on June 7th, I knew at that time if locals like Jerry McCune and Gary Richardson were allowed to negotiate a solution, a consensus would be reached.  That is exactly what happened on Saturday that led to today’s union vote. It is unfortunate that such a meeting could not have happened sooner to prevent the strike from occurring in the first place.
“The impact of the two-week strike that caused a training shutdown at Vance was felt across the Air Force.  It will take months to make up for the lost time, and the Air Force will have to shoulder an increase in training costs and widespread hardships.  For the future mission at Vance, much time and energy must go into overcoming this blemish.  I know that Vance and the Enid community have it within them to improve their standing with the Air Force and demonstrate their commitment to our national security needs.  Vance is too important to Enid and Enid is too important to Vance to allow contractual disagreements to get in the way of Vance’s mission and the tremendous community support that Enid provides.”

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