WICHITA, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The union representing engineers, technical workers and professionals at Spirit AeroSystems (SPR) is holding a press conference at 11 a.m., today (Wednesday, March 26), at its Midwest regional office to announce a significant action related to Spirit’s termination of hundreds of older employees in 2013, including many near retirement, with serious medical conditions, or who had family members who were covered on the employee’s health plan and had serious medical issues.
The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE 2001, spent the past eight months assisting the employees’ investigation of Spirit’s actions and the terminations.
“It is absolutely shocking what this company did to these workers and to the Wichita community,” said Bob Brewer, SPEEA Midwest Director.
The SPEEA Midwest office is located in the lower part of the Parklane Shopping Center, 973 S. Glendale Street, Wichita. In addition to SPEEA staff and legal counsel for the employees, a number of the impacted employees will attend the press conference.
On July 1, 2013, Spirit changed its medical coverage for employees and their families from an underwritten, provider form of medical insurance to a self-funded insurance program. The result of the change is that every dollar not paid out in medical claims is a dollar that remains in Spirit’s corporate bank account. Three weeks after the switch to self-insurance, the company began laying off employees, calling the layoffs a necessary move to cut costs. After laying off employees in July and August, Spirit held a job fair in September to recruit new employees. None of the laid off employees were asked to return to work.
SPEEA represents 2,450 employees at Spirit in Kansas.
Representing more than 24,830 employees in Washington, Kansas, Oregon, Utah, California and Florida, SPEEA is the largest professional aerospace union in the United States. SPEEA is affiliated with the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE).