TULSA, Okla. — Spirit Aero Systems says it plans to lay off 2,800 employees from its Wichita, Kansas location, because of workforce reductions.
Sometime later in the year, it says more reductions will take place at its Tulsa and McAlester locations.
We spoke with local McAlester business owners about why this may impact their economy.
“McAlester would take a big hit, it’s a big employer," Natalie Dunn said. "They pay well. Any industry that we lost affects McAlester.”
Mr. and Mrs. Dunn have owned the Lucy Two's restaurant in McAlester for nearly 10 years.
They say they had no idea this happened, but they are sure their city will be affected.
“It would affect our business definitely," Kevin Dunn said. "Every week or so we would cater probably 10 lunches to the plant, and on top of that we have employees from Spirit come here and eat with us.”
They say the Spirit employees are their regulars, and someone in their family is being impacted by this.
“I really hate to hear that," Natalie Dunn said. "I have a nephew at the Tulsa location in a two income family, but that definitely affects his mortgage.”
They are hoping it won't impact their restaurant too much.
“Probably when you’re laid off, you probably won’t eat out as much which affects us and our whole little town,” Natalie said.
Mr. Dunn says because their town is so small, the town may not look the same if a layoff wave hits them soon.
"My wife was saying I think there is a lot of trickle down," Kevin said. "There will definitely be people moving away if they can’t find employment here. Spirit is a major employer, they have good jobs there.”
Spirit Aero Systems President and CEO sent us a statement.
“The difficult decision announced today is a necessary step given the uncertainty related to both the timing for resuming 737 MAX production and the overall production levels that can be expected following the production suspension,” said Tom Gentile, Spirit AeroSystems President and CEO. “We are taking these actions to balance the interests of all of our stakeholders as a result of the grounding of the 737 MAX, while also positioning Spirit to meet future demand."
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