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Beyond the Weekend -
How labor unions benefit everyone


Spirit AeroSystems
Temporary overtime increase for non-exempt WTPU

WICHITA - SPEEA recently worked with Spirit AeroSystems to extend an overtime incentive to non-exempt represented employees. The incentive is two times the base rate of pay (instead of time and a half) for any hours in excess of 40 hours per week.

Spirit initially offered the OT incentive to the machinists due to backlog. SPEEA Midwest Director BJ Moore initiated conversations with Spirit leadership to include the WTPU non-exempt.

More than 700 are eligible in the Wichita Technical and Professional Unit (WTPU) for the double time for overtime through Tuesday, Oct. 30. The OT rate increase started Sept. 1.

Moore noted SPEEA is in discussion with Spirit regarding exempt SPEEA-represented employees. This includes the Wichita Engineering Unit (WEU) and some in the WTPU who are exempt because of their job code and/or skill level.

WEU negotiations - Aug. 23
Progress in some areas, more needed

The Wichita Engineering Unit (WEU) Negotiation Team continues to exchange concepts and language with Spirit management.

While some unanswered questions remain, our efforts continue to stress the increased value SPEEA-represented employees bring to and produce for Spirit.

With more than 73% of bargaining unit employees now full, dues-paying members, we are hopeful a Tentative Agreement for  members to reiew can be reached in the upcoming weeks.

Hot dogs for Frederickson members

With about 200 hot dogs served, SPEEA members in Frederickson enjoyed lunch with their co-workers. Frederickson Council Rep Mike Arrington hosted the BBQ with help from Doug Brazeal, second shift Council Rep for Auburn/Frederickson, and Jimmie Mathis, SPEEA treasurer. Their hot dog feed also included SPEEA visibility items and dessert (cookies).

Everett hot dog feed at the SPEEA hall

More than 150 members stopped by the Everett SPEEA Hall for a hot dog Aug. 16. Members of the SPEEA Executive Board were on hand to welcome members. The hot dogs were going fast at lunchtime with members walking over from nearby buildings to the SPEEA hall on Airport Way.

WEU membership hits record 73% - and is still growing!
WICHITA - With more members joining the Wichita Engineering Unit (WEU), the total membership rate soared to a new record. More than 73% of the bargaining unit are dues-paying members of the union.

The number continues to grow!

The membership continues to climb in response to outreach efforts and an information campaign regarding the WEU contract negotiations. Talks with Spirit AeroSystems are scheduled to resume Aug. 20.

Only dues-paying members can vote on contract offers.

The current WEU contract expires Dec. 1. The last contract negotiations occurred in 2012. -
Negotiation page
No impact on SPEEA
Janus decision hits federal, state, city unions

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to eliminate mandatory union fees for government employees effectively makes all government jobs a “right-to-work” job – meaning employees must voluntarily decide to join the union and pay their fair share.

While potentially devastating to government unions, this decision has NO impact on any SPEEA member. The Boeing Company, Spirit AeroSystems and Triumph Composite Systems are private employers and are not covered by this Supreme Court decision.

It does, however, impact many of our fellow local unions in the IFPTE that represent employees in the public sector. 

“We stand with our fellow IFPTE Locals in our firm belief that this ruling is wrong,” said Joel Funfar, SPEEA president. “It is an attack on workers and labor unions.”

The decision also has no effect on the requirement that all government employees in a bargaining unit receive the same representation, regardless if they are full, dues-paying members or pay nothing to the union.

Supreme Court deals big setback to labor unions
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that government workers can't be forced to contribute to labor unions. AP Article

Washington is clear choice for NMA!
Richard Aboulafia explains explains the metrics used in the Aerospace Competitive Economics Study that ranked Washington as the best location to design and manufacture Boeing's new airplane.
TVW link top press conference - June 6, 2018

SEATTLE -- Washington state is the best location in the U.S. to design, manufacture and ensure a successful launch of Boeing’s next airplane, according to a study performed by respected aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group.

Announced by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and the Choose Washington New Mid-Market Airplane Council, the study used 41 common metrics to produce the most comprehensive, data-driven state-by-state aerospace competitiveness study ever done.

“Washington comes way out on top,” Aboulafia said during a press conference to release the study at South Seattle Community College. “People can look at the data themselves and get the same outcome.”

Inslee said the state is well-positioned for the new airplane because of the extreme depth of experience and expertise in the engineers from SPEEA and Machinists.

“If you look at the total scores, it is obvious we are way out in front of the others,” Inslee said. “It’s really not even close.
Though wages may be lower in other locations, the study used common data points to weigh productivity as a factor in the cost. Machinists 751 President Jon Holden explained:

“The Teal Report looks not just at the basic cost of the labor, but they also looked at the output of that labor,” Holden said. “What they found is that machinists and engineers (SPEEA) here in Washington are very efficient and productive.  We produce more aerospace output per dollar cost of labor than almost anywhere else.”

SPEEA President Joel Funfar emphasized the point: “It’s a lot cheaper when you do it right the first time,” he said. “It is very clear when you look at all the factors that Washington is the best place to ensure success for the NMA.”

While Washington came out on top of the overall rankings, Kansas had a strong showing in several areas, including first in aerospace supplier density.

“I’m not surprised that Kansas was fourth,” Aboulafia said. “Wichita is the air capital of the world, with the greatest concentration of business aircraft and general aviation production and the skilled engineers and machinists needed to keep the state a leader in those markets.”

The Choose Washington NMA Council is led by business, labor, education, economic development and elected leaders.

More information on the council and the NMA effort is available at:

Read the full Aerospace Competitive Economics Study (ACES) report.

Eligibility extended two years
Trade Act Assistance available for laid-off Boeing workers

Workers laid-off by The Boeing Company in Washington state through August 9, 2019, are eligible to apply for training, income support, and other benefits through the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program (TAA or "Trade Act").

The eligibility dates were recently extended an additional two years as a result of a petition to the U.S. Labor Department by the International Association of Machinists (IAM), District 751 in partnership with SPEEA, IFPTE Local 2001. 

Laid-off workers will receive a letter detailing the benefits steps to apply for assistance.

Since Washington state extended the aerospace tax preferences (tax breaks) in November, 2013 to Boeing and the aerospace industry with the agreed intent to “maintain and grow Washington’s aerospace workforce” more than 3,500 SPEEA-represented employees have been laid off by the company. The most recent figures from July show that overall Boeing has shed 15,828 jobs from its Washington state workforce since the tax breaks were extended.

Additional information to help members facing layoff is available on the following SPEEA web pages:

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Ed Wells Partnership - Contract benefit
Resume and job-search workshops available

Ed Wells Partnership (EWP) recently added a number of resume and job-search workshops to its list of offerings. The workshops provide information about how to be successful searching for new jobs within Boeing.

Complete information and registration is available on the Boeing intranet
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