Boeing internally announced a reorganization of its Wichita Integrated Defense System ahead of a strike vote by the engineers union, SPEEA, that has an April 2 strike date.
Renewed contract negotiations collapsed earlier this week without an agreement.
Boeing “announces changes to the Wichita Engineering team, to include Product Support. This organizational change is in alignment with previously stated objectives to; double the Global Services & Support business within five years, execute on current work to meet customer expectations and financial objectives, and focus on performance and productivity,” to company said in a communication to employees.
Although Wichita is an IDS facility, SPEEA engineers also work on the development of the 747-8. A strike would affect work on this already-delayed program, now 9-12 months late. But SPEEA engineers have been told to prepare a transfer of engineering on the 747-8 to Boeing’s Moscow Design Engineering unit, we’re told.
Update, 3:30 PM: We just received this word from SPEEA about the Irving, TX, BAE Systems operation:
“We received notice that they are laying-off more than 500 people (out of 1000) and outsourcing the work to Mexico. This essentially wipes-out the SPEEA bargaining unit at the facility.”
BAE Systems is a supplier to Boeing and Airbus and, in 2008, ranked fifth as a contractor to the US Department of Defense. BAE Systems is a UK company.
(We can’t resist noting that for all those who complain about the prospect of Northrop Grumman/EADS/Airbus winning the tanker contract and shipping all those jobs “overseas,” noone seems to take any notice or care that BAE (#6 in 2007, now #5 in 2008) is a foreign company.)