The video above is from KSN News at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Earlier on Monday, Spirit AeroSystems confirmed it revised its contract offer to the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM), which is expected to vote on Thursday. It came as machinists continue to strike outside the Wichita company.
Monday night, the Machinists Union announced that stewards would meet at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday to discuss the offer at District 70.
“We can confirm that we have delivered a revised offer to the IAM following days of positive discussions with IAM representatives, along with the assistance of the Federal mediator. We remain committed to reaching a timely and fair resolution on a labor agreement for our IAM-represented employees. We will provide further information at the appropriate time in coordination with the IAM,” said Forrest Gossett, Spirit AeroSystems, senior manager of Corporate Communications.
“The last best and final is what will be discussed. We feel it should go to the stewards first. That way, they understand what’s really being offered,” said Machinist Union President Cornell Beard.
Details about what was revised in the contract were not released until after the meeting concluded Tuesday afternoon.
The new contract offer
One of the biggest frustrations with the first offer was health insurance changes. The new offer will keep insurance the same as the contract that just expired.
A 3.5% cost of living guarantee for the first year, as well as no mandatory overtime on weekends, are some of the other changes.
Beard said he was met with applause when meeting with the stewards on the new contract.
“Our whole committee actually signed off on this offer,” Beard said. “I do want to say, too, we do appreciate Spirit for recognizing this in negotiations. Strikes happen. I really have to commend them for coming to the table with a good offer for this membership.”
The offer is a four-year contract. If approved, workers would return on July 5.
Spirit said in a news release the contract terms also include a sign-on bonus of $3,000 and a total wage increase of 9.5% in year one, and a guaranteed increase of 23.5% over the life of the contract.
“We listened closely and worked hard in our talks over the last several days to further understand and address the priorities of our IAM-represented employees,” said Tom Gentile, President and CEO of Spirit AeroSystems, in the news release. “We believe this new offer is fair and competitive and recognizes the contributions of our employees covered under this proposed agreement, enabling our ability to meet the growing needs of our customers and deliver value for our investors.”
The news release states that IAM union members will vote on approval on Thursday at Hartman Arena in Park City, 8151 N. Hartman Arena Drive. A time has not been set for the vote. During the last vote, the doors opened at 7 a.m., ballots were available after a 9 a.m. presentation, and polls closed at 4 p.m.
IAM announced on its Facebook page that four town hall meetings will be held for members to discuss the contract on Wednesday. The meetings will be at District 70 and happen at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. Each session will last 60-90 minutes.
Stewards with the Machinists union have confirmed with KSN that they will continue striking until Thursday.
To view KSN’s coverage of the Spirit Machinists Union Strike, click here.
To view Spirit and IAM Wichita contract negotiations, click here.