Machinists Union to Weigh Spirit AeroSystems Proposal
By Business Wire News
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today announced it would only consider serious proposals from Kansas-based Spirit AeroSystems regarding the proposed sale of its fabrication unit, which produces aerospace components and employs more than 900 IAM members.
“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,” said IAM District 70 President Frank Molina. “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.”
IAM officials have been contacted by Spirit representatives to discuss the possible sale of the fabrication unit, but no formal proposals have been exchanged.
“We intend to keep our members advised throughout this process, and while the discussions are very preliminary at this point, we fully intend to honor the current agreement and we expect Spirit to do the same,” said Molina. “Any changes to current terms and conditions would require a vote and ratification by the affected members.”
In 2010, IAM members ratified a 10-year agreement with Spirit, which called for a strong partnership to grow the company and create additional jobs. The agreement included language requiring Spirit to maintain major manufacturing operations in Wichita for the duration of the contract.
“The relentless restructuring of the aerospace industry is a fact of life,” said Molina. “As stakeholders, we are prepared to consider changes that benefit our members and their families, but we will insist on a transparent process and respect for the collective bargaining process.”
The IAM represents approximately 7,200 workers at Spirit AeroSystems and is one of the largest industrial trade unions in North America, representing more than 600,000 active and retired members across North America.