Some Spirit employees unhappy with contract ahead of Wednesday union contract vote
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Kathy Dyer has worked at Spirit Aerosystems for 10 and a half years. On Wednesday she will do something she has never done before while working for the company and being a union member. Vote on a new employment contract.
“When I first started, the 10 year contract was already in play and then we got the three year extension,” Dyer said. “My honest thoughts are, this contract is not what they're playing it off to be.”
Some of Dyer’s biggest complaints with the deal are with the pay structure. Spirit says the contract guarantees a 16% raise for all members in the bargaining unit over the 4 year contract and that could go up as high as 34%.
Dyer says part of that increase would cap cost of living adjustments to just 2.5% a year and change year end bonuses to a flat 2%.
She believes the company can offer more, in part because of how busy they are going to be.
“We're supposed to ramp up. We're supposed to ramp up again by the end of the year, by next year. You know, we're going to be building more and more and more and more planes,” said Dyer.
Around 7,500 workers are in the bargaining unit that is impacted by the contract, with union leaders saying that 6,600 of those are voting members. If they vote Wednesday to reject the contract, there will be a vote to strike on Friday.
Dyer says she thinks the contract will pass even if she doesn’t like it. However, if it doesn’t, a strike would help the workers prove a point. “It would hurt not just spirit, it's going to hurt a lot of smaller companies. It's going to hurt Boeing. You know it is really going to hurt a lot of people.”
The vote will take place on Wednesday at Hartman arena in Park City, with doors opening at 7am and voting going all day until 4pm.