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Layoffs imminent at Spirit AeroSystems, union says

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- Union officials are bracing for anticipated layoffs at Spirit AeroSystems, but the company said it would not speculate about what it called rumors.

Ray Goforth, executive director of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, said Wednesday that the union is hearing from various middle managers about impending layoffs. But he says the company has not told union officials.

"We have no announcement to make at this time," Spirit spokesman Ken Evans said in an email.

A company email shows the human resources department has blocked off 35 rooms from 6:30 a.m. to noon Thursday for the meetings.

"They are going to ambush them first thing in the morning, you know, call them into these meetings and then shove them out the gate," Goforth said. "It is just an utterly bizarre way to treat employees that have made this company successful."

If Spirit needs to lay off people, he said, they should do it like other companies that announce the job cuts, then let people know who is going to be laid off and give them a chance to transition. The way Spirit is apparently doing it is "a shockingly disrespectful way to treat employees."

Middle managers were so disturbed at the decision being made by executive leadership that they started calling union officials, Goforth said.