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SPEEA files unfair-labor-practices charge against Spirit

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, August 8, 2013, at 10:28 p.m.

Spirit AeroSystems’ engineering and professional and technical union on Wednesday filed an unfair-labor-practices charge alleging the company violated collective bargaining agreements during recent layoffs of its members.

Late last month, Spirit laid off 360 employees in Wichita and Tulsa, including 221 engineers, technical workers and others represented by the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace.

As part of the process, SPEEA alleges that Spirit management presented and tried to negotiate severance agreements with each employee, a move in violation of contract agreements.

“Spirit continues to do whatever they think they can get away with, including disregarding the contracts they negotiated and signed with their own employees,” Bob Brewer, SPEEA Midwest director, said in a statement.

Spirit said it believes the charge is without merit.

“We disagree with the latest allegations and believe the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) will find them baseless once they have all the facts,” said Spirit spokesman Jarrod Bartlett in an e-mailed statement.

The charge was filed with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Region 7 office in Kansas City.

It’s the latest charge filed by SPEEA against Spirit now before the National Labor Relations Board.

SPEEA recently filed an unfair-labor-practices charge against the company alleging Spirit failed to answer relevant questions in meetings held to discuss retention ratings and that managers refused to answer questions during formal grievance meetings about what it says was the “arbitrary firing of 38 employees in March.”

The NLRB will rule on the merits of the charges.

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @mmcmillin.

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