After Heated Meeting, Spirit AeroSystems Vote Down Contract
Sunday, September 28th 2014, 6:23 PM CDT
The contract was presented with a title "best and final offer."
Spirit AeroSystems employs 2,300 people in Tulsa, many of whom are represented by the United Aerospace Workers Local 952. The Tulsa Spirit AeroSystems plant builds the wings for Gulfstream planes. It also makes wing components for Boeing 737, 747, 777 and 787 commercial airliners.
Spirit is trying to sell its Tulsa operations, which include some of the Gulfstream work. Many are afraid a sale will mean massive layoffs and that remaining workers will lose a lot of their benefits. Workers are claiming a vote to change their labor contract is illegal. They want to remain under the old terms.
UAW sources say in Sunday's special meeting, there were 396 no votes, 59 yes votes.
What happens next? According to a union representative, he isn't sure how they will be moving forward, but the sale of the Gulfstream operations is still scheduled to go on as planned.
Workers said Sunday afternoon's closed-door meeting was explosive. Police were even called in at one point.
Employees who showed up to vote told News On 6 they had no idea what they were voting on, only that a new contract was proposed.
Other employees not part of the vote, but part of the same union, showed up to protest. They said a vote for one part of the union affects everyone.
Employees leaving the meeting said the contract says if they vote no to the new terms, they'll lose their job and ultimately, they say that could mean the loss of more than 600 jobs.
Police were called earlier in the afternoon to escort people out of the meeting. Police went in, talked with employees and decided not to arrest anyone and left.
Those sitting outside protesting were on their phones listening to the vote and said things were very heated inside.
We'll update this story tonight and bring you more on the newscasts at 9 and 10.