Aviation manufacturer Spirit AeroSystems will restore operations at its Wichita, Kansas plant today after a chapter of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers voted to ratify a new labor contract on Thursday.
Sixty-three percent of union members voted to ratify the contract, Cornell Beard, IAM Lodge 70 president and directing business representative said in a letter posted on Facebook Thursday evening.
“Let’s work hard to set ourselves up for the big win in four years as well,” Beard said in the letter.
The news comes after weeks of negotiations between the Airbus and Boeing supplier and IAM Local Lodge 839, which reached a tentative contract agreement on Tuesday after the union declined the Boeing supplier’s contract offer and went on strike last week.
Spirit AeroSystems and Local Lodge 839 agreed to work with a mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to help with negotiations, the labor union said in a news release yesterday.
“We knew these negotiations were not going to be your typical set of talks,” IAM Local 839 Chief Negotiator Jason Baze said in a statement. “Our membership clearly said the original offer was unacceptable by rejecting it soundly. The committee returned to the table to address their concerns.”
The newly agreed four-year contract with IAM Local Lodge 839 includes additional guaranteed annual pay increases, including a 6% bump after the first year, as well as a $3,000 cash signing bonus.
Other highlights from the new offer include no mandatory overtime on weekends, a $7.50 an-hour incentive for employees who travel and a 3.5% cost of living adjustment baseline.
“We listened closely to our employees and brought forward a fair-and-competitive offer,” Spirit AeroSystems President and CEO Tom Gentile said in a statement. “With its approval by our IAM-represented employees, we look forward to getting back to the important work of delivering quality products to our customers.”
The new four-year contract takes effect when production is expected to fully resume on July 5.