Spirit considers sale of its fabrication work

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Spirit AeroSystems is considering a sale of its fabrication work, which could affect more than 900 workers who are members of the Machinists union.

That’s according to a news release Monday from the International Association of Machinists, which said in the release that it does not want any sale of Spirit’s fabrication work to alter the terms of its 10-year contract with Spirit, which union members ratified in 2010.

A Spirit spokesman would not comment on the release, referring instead to a statement that the company e-mailed to The Eagle.

“It is critical to efficiently build capacity to support demand for our products,” the statement said. “We are exploring our make-buy strategy and what differentiates us in the marketplace, and we are testing the market.”

The company said in the statement it had nothing more to say on the matter.

Frank Molina, president of the Machinists District 70 in Wichita, said in the release that the union would insist on transparency in a sale process.

“We are prepared to consider proposals regarding a sale, but only if contracts are maintained, wages and pensions are preserved, and workers’ hard earned benefits are not a casualty,” Molina said in the release. “IAM members at Spirit AeroSystems made significant sacrifices to ensure the success of this company since it was formed in 2005, and they expect those sacrifices to be respected in any additional restructuring.”

Molina did not return messages for additional comment Monday afternoon.

The union said it was contacted by Spirit about a possible sale of the company’s fabrication work, but no formal proposals have been exchanged as part of that contact.

Molina also noted in the release that “the discussions are very preliminary at this point.”

The Machinists represent about 7,200 workers at Spirit.

Reach Jerry Siebenmark at 316-268-6576 or jsiebenmark@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @jsiebenmark.