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Spirit Continues Disrespect Pushing Takeaways for Engineers Despite Profits, Says SPEEA

Dépèche transmise le 13 août 2009 par Business Wire

Spirit Continues Disrespect Pushing Takeaways for Engineers Despite Profits, Says SPEEA

Spirit Continues Disrespect Pushing Takeaways for Engineers Despite Profits, Says SPEEA

WICHITA, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--After 91% of the union engineers rejected Spirit AeroSystems’ initial contract offer, negotiators for the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001, returned to negotiations today to find management made the offer worse – adding new takeaways – despite continued corporate profitability.

Spirit negotiators presented a revised offer as negotiations resumed Thursday (Aug. 13). The revised offer eliminates employee life insurance, doubles medical premiums in the second year, requires employees to give four hours a week of free labor before earning overtime and shields temporary workers while union workers can be laid off.

“Four years ago our engineers helped start Spirit and make it successful after its divestiture from The Boeing Company,” said Ray Goforth, SPEEA executive director. “Executives pocketed millions and now want to pick the pockets of workers.”

Negotiations for a new 3 ½-year contract for 774 engineers at Spirit AeroSystems started in June. Spirit is a former commercial airplane plant for Boeing. Employees there engineer and manufacturer portions of several Boeing aircraft, including the 737 and 787.

Union membership among employees in the Wichita Engineering Unit (WEU) surged since negotiations started June 9 with nearly 150 employees joining as full, union members. The surge is unheard of in Kansas.

To increase pressure on Spirit and its parent company Onex of Canada, delegates of IFPTE locals from around the United States and Canada today were informed of Spirit’s negotiation tactics. Delegates are attending the 56th triennial convention of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers this week in Las Vegas. The delegates agreed to help their fellow union members in Kansas with ongoing action.

“It’s outrageous what these corporate executives are trying to do to employees so they can keep getting their millions in bonuses,” said Cynthia Cole, SPEEA president to delegates at the convention. “We must stand up and fight.”

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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