A federal judge has tossed out the remaining age discrimination claims in a long-running lawsuit against the Boeing Company and Spirit AeroSystems.
U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren said in a ruling on Wednesday that he was dismissing the claims of the remaining 26 plaintiffs as a sanction for their refusal to obey a court order to give their tax returns to the companies.
The ruling deals a major blow to litigation that has already spanned nine years.
A federal judge will hear arguments next month on whether to block Spirit AeroSystems from selling off its fabrication operations or laying off workers.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree set an Oct. 8th hearing in Topeka over a lawsuit the Machinists union's filed against Spirit.
The suit says 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.
The Wichita-based airplane manufacturer has gone through a number of major changes recently, including adding CEO Larry Lawson in March. Lawson warned investors in May that the company would do a "comprehensive evaluation" of the development programs in Tulsa, Okla., Wichita, Kan., Kinston, N.C., and St. Nazaire, France.
The company said in a news release Thursday that this is a "strategic move to make the company more competitive in a cost-sensitive environment." It says the reductions are designed to "reduce overhead costs, increase efficiency, and drive improved performance."
A group of students met Saturday at Wichita State University for the 13th annual Mindstorms Challenge, a Lego robotics competition. The challenge is designed to encourage students to study science, technology, engineering and math, while promoting teamwork.
The theme for the event was “The WuShock, an Unexpected Journey” with teams like The Bilbot Baggins of Andovershire.
“We started working the weekend they released the courses, which was mid-January, and we’ve been meeting at least a couple of times a week since then,” says Bob Elsburnd, a parent and team coach.