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SPEEA Engineers at Spirit Deliver a Resounding Rejection to Company’s Contract Offer

Dépèche transmise le 24 juillet 2009 par Business Wire

SPEEA Engineers at Spirit Deliver a Resounding Rejection to Company’s Contract Offer

SPEEA Engineers at Spirit Deliver a Resounding Rejection to Company’s Contract Offer

WICHITA, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A contract offer by Spirit AeroSystems to engineers that had no guaranteed wage increases, could require four hours of unpaid overtime before receiving overtime pay and doubled medical premiums was rejected by 91 percent of the voting members in the Wichita Engineering Unit (WEU) of the Society of Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001.

Voting by mail and counted by union tellers today, the tally showed 292 votes to reject and 28 votes to accept the company’s offer for a new 3½-year contract for its 774 engineers.

“I’m hopeful that the company will pay attention to this vote,” said Ray Goforth, SPEEA executive director. “We need a contract that rewards employees for the success they brought to Spirit since the divestiture from The Boeing Company.”

Main table negotiations between SPEEA and Spirit opened June 9. Employees have been working under a contract extension since July 11. With the offer rejected, SPEEA will inform the company and discuss how to proceed.

“Our team is ready to work with Spirit management to get the improvements engineers need to continue making this company a success,” said Bob Brewer, SPEEA Midwest director.

Among the items in the offer that caused rejection was a lack of any guaranteed wage increases for individuals, doubling of existing medical premiums from 10 to 20 percent in the second year of the contract and the creation of “casual overtime” which could result in employees receiving no pay for the first four hours of overtime during a week. The company also wanted an agreement that allowed them to temporarily layoff, or put on short work week, regular employees while retaining contract workers.

Union membership surged since negotiations concluded and ballots were mailed July 10. More than 127 bargaining unit employees joined as full union members since details of the company’s offer became known. With only 33 percent of employees in the bargaining unit as full union members when negotiations concluded, the union’s Negotiation Team had recommended members “accept” the company offer. The union’s bargaining unit council issued a “neutral” recommendation. Membership surged to 48 percent as WEU Negotiators talked with employees about the need to join and increase union membership if they wanted a better contract.

“And, we received more membership applications today,” said Brewer. “As employees read through the offer they saw the need to band together and say no.”

A local of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), SPEEA represents 24,900 aerospace professionals at Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Triumph Composite Systems, Inc., in Spokane, Wash., and BAE Systems, Inc., in Irving, Texas.

Business Wire

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