A new agreement between Spirit AeroSystems and one of its unions means the company won’t outsource as many as 85 jobs.
“We are certainly pleased that the company agreed to keep these jobs with the people who have been doing them in Wichita,” SPEEA spokesman Bill Dugovich said Thursday.
Both parties signed a letter of understanding on Feb. 17 in which Spirit agreed “to keep the Supply Chain purchase order management jobs at Spirit and not use a third party vendor for these functions,” Spirit said in a statement to The Eagle.
The agreement will remain effective for Spirit employees represented by the Wichita Engineering Unit through Dec. 1, 2018, and for Wichita Technical and Professional Unit-represented employees through Jan. 31, 2021, according to a copy of the letter of understanding. The SPEEA bargaining unit’s current contracts with Spirit expire on those dates.
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Spirit acknowledged in January that it was seeking information from outside companies to do its purchase order processing work as part of a broader effort to lower its costs.
Spirit is Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ largest supplier, and like other suppliers to the jetliner manufacturer, it is facing pressure from Boeing to supply cheaper parts and structures.
The workers who would have been affected by Spirit’s outsourcing are represented by SPEEA’s WTPU and its WEU.
SPEEA presented a plan to Spirit last week to reduce that operation’s costs and preserve the affected jobs. The new agreement stems from that effort, though Spirit said SPEEA’s cost-savings plan is still under review.
Spirit said in the statement that the union also agreed to permit the company to offer SPEEA members health insurance plans that it offers only to management and non-union employees.
“These health care improvements and potential implementation of cost reductions within the SPEEA proposal will help Spirit achieve cost reductions,” Spirit said in its statement.