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Tulsa Spirit AeroSystems Workers Wonder What's Next

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A Tulsa company says 501 employees will be affect by a change in part of its operation. A Tulsa company says 501 employees will be affect by a change in part of its operation.
Members of the United Aerospace Workers wonder what will happen next. Members of the United Aerospace Workers wonder what will happen next.
Union President David Barker. Union President David Barker.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Over 500 employees of Spirit Aerosystems learned Tuesday they won't be working for Spirit much longer. The contracts for their work have been transferred to a new owner, Triumph.

Spirit builds wing assemblies for two models of Gulfstream airplanes at a plant at the Tulsa International Airport. Those union employees impacted were notified their jobs with spirit will end in February.

As soon as union workers learned about this partial sale - President David Barker, got to work helping the 501 impacted employees figure out what's next.

Barker says this is still early - and he hadn't even spoken to representatives from Triumph. His focus right now is helping prepare his members for the uncertainty.

12/9/2014 Related Story: Triumph Taking Over Gulfstream Division Of Tulsa Spirit Aerosystems

"Obviously a lot of people affected by this. They dont know how that affects their lives," Barker said.

Of United Aerospace Workers Local 952's 1,900 members, more than 500 will soon lose their jobs at Spirit AeroSystems, even though Triumph says many will be offered positions.

"They just said they will be offered a job," Barker said. "They're not talking about any wages or benefits or anything like that."

Workers have known about the potential for a full or partial sale for the last year and a half.

"We knew something was happening. Everyone has been pins and needles a while knowing something is gonna happen," he said.

The next step is to bring in the State of Oklahoma Rapid Response Unit to help with signing up for unemployment benefits and other services for laid off workers.

"It's a tough time of year right before Christmas," said David Barker, president of the UAW Local 952.

Barker says these 500 workers were chosen by seniority - so many are somewhat new hires. But the Union says 100 of those aren't working on Gulfstream Projects, and Triumph hasn't specified whether or not they will be offered jobs.

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