August 13, 2014
By Neal Tepel
Washington, DC — The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) announced its filing a lawsuit against Spirit AeroSystems over the company’s plans to outsource IAM-represented jobs. This is work currently done by the 7,200 IAM Spirit employees.
“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,” said IAM International President R. Thomas Buffenbarger. “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 and other components for all current Boeing programs. These including the 737, 747, 767, 777 and 787 aircraft.
Using the misnomer of “insourcing,” Spirit’s sale of its fabrication unit, a major manufacturing operation, and plans to use outside contractor employees in tool supply, shipping, paint stores and other support functions will displace IAM workers. The IAM lawsuit alleges these actions are a breach of the IAM-Spirit AeroSystems agreement. The IAM will request a federal district court to issue an injunction prohibiting Spirit from selling the fabrication unit or outsourcing any union jobs pending arbitration of the dispute.
“Boeing learned the hard way that the more outside contractors on a project, the more production and delivery problems there are,” said Buffenbarger. “That’s why our agreement with Spirit AeroSystems calls for a strong partnership to make the company successful and create jobs for our members, the people who have a stake in Spirit’s success. We have worked hard to do our part, but the new leadership at Spirit seems determined to follow a course that just doesn’t work in the aerospace industry.”