Spirit AeroSystems Cuts Independent Contractors

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Contract engineers at Spirit Aerosystems are being let go in large part due to the suspension of the Cessna Columbus program which this site was being prepared for. An estimated 25% of about 300 independent contractors are being cut.

So far, Spirit AeroSystems has managed to maintain enough of a work-load to avoid a general layoff like the other planemakers have done.

A company spokesman says, "Cessna suspended work on the Citation Columbus program two weeks ago and we have continued to rebalance our workforce accordingly. Since then we have been notifying a number of contractors that their work has ended. The reason we have contingent labor is to timely increase or decrease our engineering resources in response to the business environment and for workforce stabilization."

The spokesman also says Spirit is doing everything it can to avoid general layoffs by cutting costs and finding alternatives to eliminating staff.

SPEEA’s union represents Spirit engineers, but not contract employees.

"Layoffs are always a possibility. I think the company is doing everything it can right now to avoid that. This is a step in the right direction letting the contract labor go out the door. It's doing some cost cutting they need to do to prepare for the future," said Bob Brewer, Midwest Executive Director of SPEEA

Brewer says the SPEEA contract calls for the termination of contract engineers before the company cuts direct employees. Spirit says contract work is temporary in nature and that these cuts are not a prelude to layoffs.

The cuts, however, still represent fewer paychecks in the community.

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