Machinists at Spirit to Vote on Historic Accord

Members of Local 839 in Wichita, KS, will vote June 25 on a tentative agreement that has the potential to reshape labor relations throughout the aerospace industry. The proposed 10-year agreement for 6,000 members employed at Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, provides unprecedented levels of job security in an industry that is still reeling from a severe and ongoing recession.

In addition to long-term job security, the tentative agreement includes pension improvements and locks-in health insurance costs while providing for additional pay increases that are linked to company performance.

The tentative agreement won the unanimous recommendation of the Local 839 Bargaining Committee, who cited job security as the number one issue identified by members in pre-negotiation surveys.

“It has been a long, tough, strenuous negotiating process, but we are bringing to the membership a tentative agreement that stems the tide of outsourcing and job offshoring,” said the committee in a letter to members. “Our proposed agreement ensures that Spirit will remain a strong and viable company, able to compete in the world market and bring home new contracts.”

“It all starts with a job,” declared IAM President Tom Buffenbarger at a joint meeting last March with IAM representatives and Spirit management. “Without a job, the highest pay and the best benefits are worthless.”