Passage of a new five-year contract by union members working at Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. in McAlester and Tulsa is being touted as a move which will help the economy in the McAlester area.

Members of the mechanics union with United Auto Workers 1558 in McAlester and 952 in Tulsa passed the measures during a vote on Friday.

The votes to accept the new contract averted a possible strike. It contains wage increases of 2 percent in 2007 and 3 percent wage increases in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Spirit is owned by the Onex Corp., a company which is based in Toronto. The plants in McAlester, Tulsa and Wichita. Kan., had previously been owned by The Boeing Co.

Numbers by which the contract passed were still not available today. Postings on union Web sites simply said the contracts had passed by a majority vote. No totals had been passed on to Spirit AeroSystems by the union.

Union members who voted at the Spirit facility in McAlester help produce small parts and subsets, according to a Spirit spokesman.

About 150 of approximately 200 Spirit employees at the McAlester plant were eligible to vote, according to Spirit. At the Tulsa plant, approximately 600 workers were eligible to cast ballots.

After learning that the measure had passed, Spirit AeroSystems issued the following statement:

“Following ratification of the UAW contract proposals, we are very pleased to have reached an agreement with the UAW.”

“We look forward to working together to becoming a market-driven global competitor and bringing new customers, new work and greater job security to the Tulsa and McAlester facilities and their communities,” a Spirit AeroSystems spokesman said.

McAlester Economic Development Service Executive Director Jim “Red” Mills said passage of the contract should have a positive economic impact on the city.

“I think it’s great news for the area,” Mills said today.

“Any time you have people reasoning together to come up with a solution. It’s good for everybody.”

“Hopefully, this will mean more jobs for the facility.”



Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

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