Future of Spirit AeroSystems employees up in the air as Boeing 737 production woes hit Wichita

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The future of some Spirit AeroSystems employees is up in the air. Boeing sent down an order to Spirit in Wichita to halt all production of the Boeing 737 Max pieces.

In order to combat the overflow of pieces in storage, Spirit sent out letters to workers this week saying schedules will be altered beginning Monday, Dec. 23. While some are required not to come in, there is still an option for paid time off.

Unions like SPEEA and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers responded saying they are monitoring the situation closely and will keep employees under their unions informed as new information is learned. In the meantime, they are encouraging employees to enjoy the extended holiday.

Since there is no date set to resume production. Kansas Secretary of Labor, Delia Garcia, is recommending employees impacted by the shutdown to be prepared. She said, “See what other opportunities will be out there. So working with work force agencies. We have both the Department of Commerce and Department of Labor who support the work force centers and seeing how we can prepare are up there for what would be to come.”

Spirit says the 737 represents more than half of their annual revenue. The company says this halt will have a negative impact on business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

Garcia says if layoffs do become an option her department is ready to help with their share program.

“That is an option, so that way it offsets part of the unemployment benefits for employees that have the reduced income,” she said.

Spirit says decisions will be made based on what is best for the long-term interest of stock holders, stakeholders, and employees.

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