Layoffs begin at Spirit AeroSystems

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Spirit AeroSystems began laying off employees and will continue notifying employees through Friday (Jan. 24) according to an email to employees from the vice president of human resources.

The layoffs come after Boeing announced the production halt of the 737 Max.

On Wednesday, Spirit employees were arriving for their shifts like normal, but for some, they knew the layoffs could come at any time.

“It’s been pretty quiet,” said Kyle Johnson, Spirit employee. “Everybody is wondering what’s going on. Everybody has their theories and everybody has something that they’ve been told by somebody. Until we really hear from management, we don’t know what to expect.”

The worry for many is how they’ll get by without a job.

Employees said they received an email from human resources that said workers would be notified by phone prior to their final shift.

Email sent to Spirit employees on Tuesday (Jan. 21)
(Courtesy: Anonymous Spirit employee)

“It’s definitely nerve-wracking,” said Johnson. “I’ve got a wife and a young child. The layoffs more than anything scare me because of losing my insurance.”

Jordan Simeons is a sheet metal mechanic who worked on the 737 Max before the production halt.

He said his job has greatly changed in the past few weeks.

“I worked on what we were still producing,” said Simeons. “After the line was done and they had the same plane sitting there every day, I basically had no work to do.”

Like many employees, Simeons said he fears for his future.

“I’m kind of worried because I’ve got a car payment, bills, stuff like that,” said Simeons. “I’m not going to be able to take care of them.”

Spirit has told employees that the company will pay them until Mar. 10 if they are laid off. After that, those affected will be able to apply for unemployment.

Simeons hopes it doesn’t reach that point. He said he will be waiting for the day workers can go back, if that day comes.

“If they call me back, it’d be awesome,” said Simeons.

It is unclear at this time how many Spirit employees have been laid off so far. The company said it will lay off 2,800 workers total.

KSN has reached out to the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers several times to get a comment from the union about the layoffs but has not heard back.

For information about the job fair planned for laid-off workers or other resources, click here.

The Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas will host a job fair at its office at 2021 N. Amidon on Thursday (Jan. 23) from 9 a.m. to noon. It is open to any employee affected by the layoffs.

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