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Appeals court sides with Spirit AeroSystems

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- A federal appeals court has sided with Spirit AeroSystems in a labor dispute stemming from the way the Wichita-based aircraft parts maker evaluates employee performance.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals found Tuesday that the district properly refused the union's efforts to compel arbitration over the issue.

The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace alleged in a lawsuit last year that it was not consulted when the company changed its method of evaluating employees.

The court agreed with Spirit AeroSystems that the grievance procedure outlined in the collective bargaining agreement applies only to individuals rather than class-wide dispute brought by the union. The court said the only exception is a lockout.

Union and company officials did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.