Spirit AeroSystems Extends Furloughs At More Sites

 - April 7, 2020, 3:23 PM

This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.

After Boeing’s announcement to indefinitely suspend commercial airplane production, its largest supplier, Spirit AeroSystems, is following suit. That move that will result in shortened work weeks for some and the furlough of thousands of production workers at its headquarters in Wichita as well as in Tulsa and McAlester, Oklahoma; and San Antonio, Texas. Spirit said in a statement to AIN today that the action, announced late Monday to employees, “address[es] the financial challenges presented by Boeing’s continued suspension.”

Spirit managers and production employees in Wichita and San Antonio directly associated with Boeing production will be put on a 21-calendar-day unpaid “temporary layoff/furlough” starting Wednesday. The same will occur at its Tulsa and McAlester sites, except it will affect all employees at both locations.

Starting on Friday, all non-represented and represented salaried employees in Wichita will begin four-day workweeks indefinitely. Spirit’s U.S. based executives, as well as its board of directors, will see their pay cut 20 percent until further notice.

The manufacturer of major structures of all Boeing commercial aircraft said that, in the meantime, some operations—such as in support of its defense, Airbus, and other growth programs—will continue with employees working their regular schedules. Spirit also exempted employees working on the 787 program or those who get called back for other on-site work that supports special projects. Spirit added that employees who now work from home should continue to do so.

Late last month, Spirit suspended its Boeing production work in Wichita and McAlester and furloughed production workers with pay for a period it had anticipated would last 14 days. That period would have ended on Wednesday.