Federal judge sets hearing on union lawsuit seeking to block Spirit AeroSystems from layoffs



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KANSAS CITY, Kansas — A federal judge will hear arguments next month on whether to block aircraft parts maker Spirit AeroSystems from selling off its fabrication operations or laying off workers pending arbitration.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree on Tuesday set an Oct. 8 hearing in Topeka over the lawsuit filed by the Machinists union against the Wichita company. The union contends the potential outsourcing would violate its labor contract and cost 1,400 jobs.

Spirit argues the grievances filed by the union are premature and provide no basis for an injunction.

The lawsuit contends the Machinists gave up the right to strike and accepted pay cuts and smaller wage increases in a 10-year contract negotiated in 2010. It says that in exchange, Spirit agreed to maintain major manufacturing operations in Wichita.

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