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Outsourcing clause triggers action, success

In January, professionals working at two newsrooms - overwhelmingly voted to unionize to gain a say and seat at the table when it comes to their wages, benefits and working conditions.Newsroom staffers at The Los Angeles Times voted to join the NewsGuild Communications Workers of American and employees at Slate voted to join the Writers Guild of America, East. 

The news professionals came together around common concerns at work and reached out to their peers about solutions while their employers fought unionization.

These working professional journalists are not alone. Since 2015, writers, editors and office clerks at numerous newsrooms and digital companies voted for union representation to have a meaningful voice. These workplaces include Vice Media, ThinkProgress, HuffPost, The Intercept, Thrillist, MTV News.Vox Media, The Intercept, Gizmodo Media Group and Salon have chosen union representation.

For more on this story, visit The Huffington Post


Not union?  Want to stay connected to other aerospace professionals? 

Spirit AeroSystems announced plans to outsource its Supply Chain Management (SCM) team just before the winter break. SPEEA’s contract with Spirit has a clause to postpone outsourcing by 60 days to come up with alternative solutions. SPEEA staff worked with Council Rep Wes Gardner, whose job was also going to be outsourced, to recruit others to help come up with solutions. “Had it not been for the 60-day clause in our SPEEA contract, they would have walked us out on day one,” Gardner said. 

“It bought time to work out other options. People need to realize, if it wasn’t for the union and the clause in our contract, we would have all been gone.” Lori Roberts is another procurement agent who joined SPEEA at the time she signed up for the outsourcing alternatives team. “I never thought that I needed it (a union) until this happened,” she said. “We would have no voice (otherwise). They would have just gotten rid of us.” 

 While Spirit is still reviewing the proposal, an agreement was reached that protects 85 Wichita Technical and Professional Unit (WTPU)-represented jobs. A new Letter of Understanding (LOU), signed by SPEEA and Spirit, makes the agreement part of the Wichita Engineering Unit (WEU) and Wichita Technical and Professional Unit (WTPU) contracts.

Newsroom professionals are organizing and joining unions

WICHITA – Linda Crownover didn’t join SPEEA as a member until her job was on the line. Then, she not only joined SPEEA’s Wichita Technical and Professional Unit (WTPU), she signed up for the seven-member team that saved 85 supply chain management jobs.

Excessive overtime hours are a major factor behind career burnout, bad morale at work and troubles at home according to respondents to the Friend of SPEEA, "What is Your Time Worth?" survey. 

SPEEA has followed the effects of changes to overtime pay in the aerospace industry over the past year. Overtime concerns grew after Boeing changed to the Extended Work Week (EWW). Noting growing concerns throughout the industry, the Friend of SPEEA survey was launched.

Hundreds of non-union aerospace professionals from dozens of companies in at least 13 states responded. The “What is your time worth?” survey continues to draw responses.

While SPEEA contracts ensure represented employees are paid a premium for working overtime, non-union employees have no assurance they will be paid for working extra hours. Notably, 90% of survey respondents said they are concerned about the personal impact of working extra hours. 

Overtime is major concern throughout aerospace

friend of speea NEWSLETTER archive  - coming soon

Among the findings are:

  • More than 85% of respondents indicated they are not paid for all overtime hours worked.

Asked how many overtime hours they work each week, the results breakdown shows:

  • 1-4 hours/week:  27%
  • 5-10 hours/week: 26%
  • 11-15 hours/week: 5%
  • 16-20 hours/week: 3%

Top concerns related to companies overtime policy or practice:

  • Working extra hours for free 63%
  • Bad moral 51%
  • Burn out on the job 46%

Coming soon! 

WICHITA, KS – Prompted by an initial investigation by SPEEA, 24 older employees terminated by Spirit AeroSystems in July 2013 filed a major age discrimination class action suit July 11 in U.S. District Court.

AARP Foundation Litigation joins age-discrimination case

News and updates

The plaintiffs, members of SPEEA, filed a lawsuit on behalf of themselves and hundreds of older employees laid off in 2013.

The group’s legal team now includes attorneys from AARP Foundation Litigation (AFL), a Washington D.C.-based component of the AARP Foundation, the charitable arm of the nationwide older-people’s organization, AARP.

Cases like this can take time and we will keep this article updated as we get new information.