Spirit Shares Drop On Strike Scare

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Unionized engineering workers at Spirit AeroSystems voted almost unanimously last month against a nine-and-a-half year contract proposal by the company and the union warned investors on Friday that workers were "on the verge" of a strike. The Wichita Eagle says Ray Goforth, executive director of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), sent an email to Wall Street investment firms saying the company hasn't been talking about the labor climate at its operations and suggested it was "a material omission that [investors] would want to be aware of." Spirit's share prices fell from $18.24 to $16.90 on Friday and then the credit-rating-inspired sell-off on Monday took the stock to a yearly low of $15.23. Some investment analysts called the union warning "overblown" since no strike vote was attached to the contract rejection. Meanwhile, labor peace reigns at Hawker Beechcraft.

Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) voted 69 percent in favor of a five-year deal that beefs up job security and includes small wage increases in the last three years but also boosts health care premiums. The deal follows three years of uncertainty and labor turmoil that included a 25-day strike in 2008 and the company's veiled threat to move to Louisiana in 2010. Job security was described as the main issue for the company's 2,600 Wichita employees.