Spirit cuts production in wake of Boeing strike

The machinists' strike at The Boeing Co. has forced supplier Spirit AeroSystems to go to a reduced work week to cut production.

Spirit AeroSystems Inc. (Wichita, Kan.) announced on Sept. 8 that the company is taking immediate action to reduce production volumes on certain Boeing products as a result of the International Association of Machinists
(IAM) strike at The Boeing Co. (Seattle, Wash.). Spirit will implement a revised production and delivery schedule using a reduced work week for employees who support, manufacture and assemble the affected products. Among other structures, Spirit produces the carbon fiber composite forward fuselage section of the 787 Dreamliner.

“We are working closely with our customer and taking the necessary steps as we respond to an unfortunate situation,” said president and CEO Jeff Turner. Spirit successfully managed through a prior IAM strike at Boeing in September 2005 using a shortened work week instead of stopping production and furloughing

“Our experience shows this approach is a prudent solution for all stakeholders,” Turner said. “Today, Spirit is a financially stronger and a more diversified company than we were in 2005. As such, we will continue our normal efforts on certain Boeing products, as well as products for new customers including Airbus, Cessna,
Gulfstream, Rolls Royce, Hawker Beechcraft and Sikorsky.”

Spirit’s previous 2008 financial guidance, provided on July 31, 2008, is being withdrawn as a result of the labor strike at its largest customer. Spirit will update its 2008 financial guidance and provide 2009 financial guidance when practical, after the IAM strike at Boeing has ended.