WICHITA, Kan. - After discussions with Spirit AeroSystems regarding impacts to SPEEA-represented employees, the SPEEA Executive Board accepted the company’s plan for implementing contract provisions allowing shortened workweeks for employees in the Wichita Engineering Unit (WEU) and Wichita Technical and Professional Unit (WTPU). Spirit is attempting to reduce costs as it deals with the impacts of the 737 MAX grounding.
Starting Friday, June 21, the company is shortening the workweek to 32 hours (20% per-week salary impact) for all salaried, management and executive employees working on commercial airplane programs. Employees on the Strategic Defense program are not impacted.
The WTPU contract allows shortening workweeks to 32 hours for up to 10 weeks. The WEU contract actually allows the company to save an equivalent amount with a 24-hour workweek for five weeks (40% per-week salary impact). However, Spirit’s plans call for a 32-hour workweek for both the WTPU and WEU for up to 10 weeks. The SPEEA Executive Board concurred with this contract deviation.
Spirit said employees have the flexibility to take either Monday or Friday off during the workweek. Other options require management approval.
Scheduled vacations are unaffected. However, only 32 hours of ETO will be paid out per week. Additionally, while Earned Time Off (ETO) cannot be used to cover the day off, represented-employees with sufficient ETO hours banked can still “cash out” up to 80 hours of ETO two times during the year – one on their anniversary and at another time of their choosing during the year.
Spirit has reduced indirect costs already, including the elimination of the majority of their non-Spirit personnel on site. They have committed to eliminating the remainder of the non-Spirit personnel, with the exception of less than a dozen cleared to work on a defense program.
Spirit is working with the Kansas Department of Labor to secure up to $38 per week in unemployment benefits for impacted workers. The company and SPEEA are also investigating options for additional assistance for employees (e.g. how to deal with financial institutions in temporary situations such as these).
SPEEA contract administrators will monitor the implementation of the shortened workweek and its impact on represented employees to ensure compliance with our contracts and agreements with Spirit. Represented employees are encouraged to bring their questions and concerns to their Council Rep. (Find your Council Rep.)
Find the Spirit WEU and WTPU contracts - here.