Spirit AeroSystems Inc. announced another round of layoffs as
its largest white-collar union applied for federal
In a move designed to
"balance" its labor force, the Wichita, Kan.-based aerospace
subcontractor said it plans "additional work force reductions"
of both management and salaried employees in Wichita, starting
"The number is not yet
determined," a Spirit spokesman told AMM this past
week. In July, Spirit furloughed 360 employees in Kansas and
Oklahoma (amm.com, July 25), later disclosing it
intends to sell its Oklahoma operations. (amm.com,
The Spirit spokesman
stressed that, despite the cutbacks, the company will also add
employees, in particular to support rising demand for its role
in Chicago-based Boeing Co.s 737 and 787 Dreamliner
airliners. Reductions will initially be implemented by
"voluntary" retirement and layoff programs, followed by
involuntary layoffs, the company said.
Meanwhile, the Society
of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) said
it filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Labor seeking
access to training, income support and other benefits through
federal trade legislation that is designed to assist laid-off
workers affected by increased imports or companies "moving work
to other countries."
SPEEA, which noted it
has filed unfair labor practice charges against Spirit with the
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), claimed Spirits
layoff plans, combined with earlier reductions, brings it close
to a 500-layoff-per-quarter threshold, which would require a
60-day furlough notice under the federal Worker Adjustment and
Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.
While the Spirit
spokesman didnt respond to SPEEAs comment about
WARN, he said "two of three" charges with the NLRB have been
dismissed. "We fully expect that last charge will be
dismissed," he said.
SPEEA, which has also filed more than 200 grievances against
Spirit, said it understands that the upcoming layoffs will go
"beyond" the voluntary exits.