Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace leadership recommended today that union members reject Spirit AeroSystems‘ offer of a new 10-year labor contract when they vote next week.
“We were looking at a 10-year deal, but we couldn’t get the right protections in place for the employees,” said SPEEA Midwest director Bob Brewer.
Member surveys showed salaries, benefits and retirement were top issues in the talks. “We never lost sight of that,” Brewer said.
The contract affects about 2,300 technical and professional employees at Spirit.
The company is focused on keeping Spirit healthy and its team for the future intact, said Spirit spokesman Ken Evans. “We believe this is a very fair offer,” he said. “It was created after months of negotiations in various groups and subcommittees and finally, main table.”
The contract “is too important not to get right,” Evans said.
Brewer said for the union, a big issue was Spirit’s desire to cap salary pools.
“That could ultimately mean we fall well below market (in salaries),” he said.
In addition, a proposed bonus plan was the lowest for any group of salaried employees at Spirit, he said. “We don’t understand that.”
“We will be running a vigorous VOTE NO campaign during the next two weeks,” SPEEA’s executive director Ray Goforth said in an e-mail.
Evans said the company plans to put the offer in front of employees and explain the facts.
Should members reject the contract, SPEEA’s intent is to go back to the negotiating table with the company instead of striking.
A vote by union members is tentatively scheduled for July 28.