Spirit AeroSystems Inc. is laying off 360 employees amid stock
market rumors that the aerospace subcontractor might be in
furlough notices included salaried support and management
personnel in Kansas and Oklahoma, the Wichita, Kansas-based
airframe manufacturer said. The reduction was described by
Spirit as a "strategic move to make the company more
competitive in a cost-sensitive environment."
Meanwhile, a Spirit
spokesman declined to comment on reports that British supply
chain manufacturer GKN Plc might bid for part or all of the
company. Spirits common stock closed at $25.45 per share
on the New York Stock Exchange July 25, up 5.7 percent from a
"We recognize the
rumor is out there," but have no announcement to make on that,
the spokesman said.
The layoffs confirm
earlier claims by Spirits largest white-collar union, the
Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace
(SPEEA), that the company was looking to cut its work force. An
SPEEA spokesman in Tukwila, Wash., also confirmed that the
"layoffs did start" for its members, with more than 200 workers
given pink slips.
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.
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. It subsequently spun off as an independent company.