Machinists union says it will sue Spirit AeroSystems over outsourcing plans

08/07/2014 10:14 PM

08/13/2014 12:34 PM

The Machinists union said it plans to file a lawsuit Friday against Spirit AeroSystems over Spirit’s plans to outsource union-represented jobs by selling a key fabrication operation and use outside contractors.

The contractors would perform work now done by Machinists-represented employees at Spirit, the union said.

“The new leadership at Spirit AeroSystems is embarking on the same misguided approach that caused customers to wait an extra two years for Boeing 787 Dreamliner deliveries,” Machinists union International president Tom Buffenbarger said in a statement. “IAM-represented employees have shown time and again that they are the best aerospace workers in the world. They are the right choice to make Spirit AeroSystems successful for customers and shareholders.”

Spirit employees in Wichita build fuselage sections for all current Boeing programs, which includes the 737, 747, 767, 777 and 787 aircraft; nacelle, strut and pylon components for the 737, 747,767 and 777; as well as components for the Bombardier C Series and the Mitsubishi Regional Jet.

Spirit plans to sell its fabrication unit, a major manufacturing operation, and plans to use outside contractors in tool supply, shipping, paint stores and other support functions, the union said. That will displace union workers.

The union alleges the actions are a breach of its union contract with Spirit and requests a federal district court to issue an injunction prohibiting the sale or outsourcing any union jobs pending arbitration of the dispute.

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

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