By Bryan Corliss
June 27, 2023, © Leeham News – Striking Machinists Union members at Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita will vote Thursday on a new contract offer from the company.
"The parties have reached a tentative agreement with the unanimous support of the entire Local 839 bargaining committee," the union said Tuesday.
The tentative deal, which comes after three days of meetings between Spirit and union negotiators with a federal mediator, replaces the original offer rejected on June 21. Spirit shut down production at the Wichita plant the next day, and the union began picketing outside the factory on Saturday.
Spirit CEO Tom Gentile said his team “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.”
Senior regional leaders of the International Association of Machinists are strongly recommending the deal.
"The contract is an industry-leading agreement that should make our members extremely proud," IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Rickey Wallace and his chief of staff, Craig Martin, said in a statement released by the union.
A quick resolution to the walk-out would benefit Boeing. The Spirit plant in Wichita provides 70% of Boeing 737 aerostructures, along with nose sections for all other Boeing aircraft. It also provides components for the Airbus A220.
Thursday’s vote would require a simple majority for ratification. If it fails to get majority support, the strike would continue.