A nine-year legal battle waged by former aircraft workers, who claim they lost their jobs because of their age, may have come to an end after a federal judge blocked their attorney from appealing the court's dismissal of their remaining claims because the paperwork was filed too late. KMUW's Carla Eckels reports...
The age discrimination lawsuit was sparked by the 2005 sale of Boeing's Wichita commercial operations to the parent company of Spirit AeroSystems.
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."