SPEEA petitions for Trade Act assistance for laid-off Spirit AeroSystems workers

Spirit AeroSystems engineering and professional and technical union has filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Labor seeking training, income support and other benefits for laid-off workers through the federal Trade Act.

The filing was made by the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace as Spirit announced a second round of layoffs in two months.

Trade Act funding is designed to help laid-off workers impacted by increased imports or companies moving work to other countries.

If approved, the laid-off employees at Spirit can apply for additional assistance, such as long-term training tuition allowance, income support, health care tax credit and job search and relocation allowances, SPEEA said.

Spirit announced Thursday that it will be offering voluntary retirements, voluntary layoffs and will also have involuntary layoffs as it works to reduce costs. A number has not been determined, the company said.

The cuts will affect salaried employees and managers.

In July, Spirit laid off 360 employees in Wichita and Tulsa. The company employs about 10,750 in Wichita.