Relations between Spirit AeroSystems Inc. and its largest
white-collar union have taken another turn for the worse as the
Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace
(SPEEA) said it expects the company to announce layoffs as
early as Thursday.
A SPEEA spokesman in
Tukwila, Wash., said the union has been informed by "numerous"
members as well as Spirit managers that as many as 300
engineers and technical workers at the Wichita, Kan.,
first-tier aerospace subcontractor will be given two
weeks pay "and ushered out of work."
A Spirit spokesman
said the company wouldnt "speculate on rumors."
The SPEEA spokesman
claimed the company is invoking a "seldom, if ever, used"
provision in the labor agreement that would allow employees to
be designated and released without a traditional warning period
and with no recall rights.
"They are interpreting
language in our contract in a way thats never been done
before," he said, adding that "were going to fight this,
we have our attorneys working on it."
represents more than 800 engineers and 2,100 technicians at
Spirit, has been engaged in a dispute over the companys
interpretation of its labor agreement with the union. In June,
it filed an unfair labor charge against Spirit with the
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), claiming the company had
refused to bargain with the union and violated the grievance
procedure on 15 terminations, a charge that Spirit denied.
amm.com, June 12). The two sides are still awaiting
the NLRBs decision, the SPEEA spokesman said.
The SPEEA spokesman
claimed that employees targeted for dismissal are paying the
price for "poor management decisions" that earlier resulted in
poor financial results and Spirit is trying to "correct the
situation by terminating employees."
Spirit is considered to be the largest commercial aircraft
subcontractor to Chicago-based Boeing Co. It is also a supplier
to Boeings European rival Airbus SAS. Prior to 2005
Spirit was part of Boeing, but was subsequently spun off as an