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Sun, Jun 30, 2013

SPEEA Charges Spirit AeroSystems With Unfair Labor Practices

Says Company's Refusal to Answer Questions Prompted The Move

The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001, filed a complaint June 21 against Spirit AeroSystems, charging the company with "unfair labor practices." It was the second such charge leveled by the union against the company in June.

SPEEA says this more recent action is the result of the repeated refusal by company officials to answer even basic questions during scheduled meetings for employees to appeal their lowered ratings. Refusing to bargain in this manner violates union contracts, federal labor laws and Spirit’s own policies, said SPEEA Midwest Director Bob Brewer.

“Not being able to sit down and resolve these issues is appalling and totally unacceptable behavior by Spirit,” Brewer said. “Employees are held accountable for everything they do in their job, but management is refusing to be accountable for their own actions, even when those actions have a huge impact on employees and ultimately hurt our Wichita community.”

Filed at the Region 14 office in Kansas City of the U.S. Department of Labor, this latest ULP charge reads: “Since on or about June 13, 2013 the employer has refused to bargain by refusing to answer relevant questions in meetings held expressly as the first step in reviewing and possibly appealing and or grieving the propriety of retention (performance) ratings given to bargaining unit members.”

More than 70 SPEEA-represented employees are appealing Performance Management ratings they recently received from Spirit. The ratings are used to grant raises, give promotions and, in extreme cases, terminate employees. “It is clear Spirit has no intent to engage in meaningful discussions during the appeal meetings,” Brewer said. “This continued disrespect for employees, the company’s own processes and signed contracts is no way to build Wichita’s aerospace industry.”

Earlier this month, SPEEA filed a ULP charge against Spirit after managers refused to answer questions during formal, “step 3,” grievance meetings regarding the company’s abrupt and arbitrary firing of 38 employees in March. The two charges are now before the National Labor Relations Board, which will rule on their merits and, if warranted, a remedy. In February 2011, without explanation, Spirit dropped the Performance Management ratings of more than 1,000 represented employees. This action continued in 2012 when 83 employees were put on Performance Coaching Plans, almost all who had no prior documented performance issues.

FMI: www.speea.org

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