Boeing supplier Spirit Aerosystems reaches labor deal, ending strike

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An aerial view of the engines and fuselage of an unpainted Boeing 737 MAX airplane parked in storage at King County International Airport-Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, June 1, 2022.

Lindsey Wasson | Reuters

Workers at Boeing aircraft parts supplier Spirit Aerosystems approved a new labor deal on Thursday, setting the stage to resume production at a Wichita, Kansas, facility after a work stoppage last week.

Spirit Aerosystems, which supplies fuselages for Boeing’s best-selling 737 Max aircraft as well as other parts for Boeing and other manufacturers, halted production last Thursday after workers voted against a new proposed contract and in favor of a strike.

“We continue to monitor the situation as we assess any potential impacts to production and deliveries,” Stan Deal, CEO of Boeing’s commercial airplane unit, said in a note to staff.

The company and the workers’ union, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, had reached a new tentative agreement for the 6,000 workers, the union said on Tuesday. Sixty-three percent of the workers approved the new agreement, the union said.

“This agreement addresses our members’ concerns with substantial wage increases, maintaining the CORE healthcare plan benefits that the membership insisted on, and includes no mandatory overtime,” the union said Tuesday when the preliminary deal was reached.

Workers would return on July 5.

The production pause came as Boeing scrambles to increase production of new aircraft. The company went into the strike with an inventory of some fuselages to continue manufacturing.

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