Spirit AeroSystems
Fuselage assembly at Spirit AeroSystems.

Union Endorses New Spirit AeroSystems Proposal

June 28, 2023
The IAM encourages its membership to approve a four-year contract in voting this week, to end a week-long strike at the commercial/military airframe manufacturer.

Update: Spirit AeroSystems announced June 30 it will resume manufacturing operations at its six locations by Wednesday July 5, following union employees' vote ratifying a new, four-year labor agreement on June 29.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union is recommending that its members vote to approve a proposed new contract with Spirit AeroSystems, which would end a five-day strike at the commercial and military airframe manufacturer. Voting is to take place on Friday, June 30.

Spirit AeroSystems halted production at its major manufacturing operation in Wichita, Kan., on June 22 after IAM workers rejected a previous contract proposal. The IAM began its strike on June 24, when the previous contract expired.

The airframe builder has 12,735 workers at six U.S. locations, with about 11,000 of those at the Wichita plant.

Spirit AeroSystems supplies major airframe products to both Boeing and Airbus, so a prolonged outage could have a significant effect on aerospace supply chains. It supplies the full fuselage for Boeing’s best-selling aircraft, the narrow-body 737 MAX; and forward sections for other Boeing series. Spirit also supplies structural components to Airbus for its A220 mid-sized jets, which are assembled in Mobile, Ala.

The company has said it will keep its operations suspended until a new contract agreement is reached, though it also pledged to continue negotiating such a deal.

The four-year contract proposal that union members will consider was announced June 27 and outlined in a statement by Spirit CEO Tom Gentile. The highlights are a healthcare package that is unchanged from the previous comprehensive coverage; no mandatory weekend overtime requirement; a $3,000 sign-on bonus; a 9.5% wage increase during the first year of the contract, with a 23.5% guaranteed increase over the term of the contract; and annual bonuses and COLA.

"This agreement addresses our members' concerns with substantial wage increases, maintaining the CORE healthcare plan benefits that the membership insisted on, and includes no mandatory overtime," according to an IAM release. "We fully support this proposal and are proud to recommend its acceptance during the membership vote this Friday, June 30.”

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