Seattle, United States:
The following is a statement from SPEEA, IFPTE Local 2001, regarding
Boeing contract negotiations:
With the desire to focus all attention on solving the emergent issues
with The Boeing Company’s 787, the union representing engineers and
technical workers today (Jan. 16) proposed incorporating areas of
agreement from ongoing negotiations into existing contracts and
extending the agreements for another four years.
This “best and final” offer by the Society of Professional Engineering
Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001, was presented as
negotiations resumed at 1 p.m. with the assistance of the Federal
Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) at the SeaTac Hilton.
SPEEA’s unprecedented offer would free Boeing and 23,000 engineers and
technical workers from protracted and increasingly contentious
negotiations that appear headed for a strike. It also allows the company
and its technical workforce to focus on reaffirming confidence and
proving the 787 is the reliable and safe product employees know it to
be. Completing negotiations also helps Boeing stay focused on supporting
customers, engineering the 767 tanker, 737 MAX, increasing 737 and 777
production rates and the other products needed for our national defense.
“These negotiations have been going on for more than a year,” said Tom
McCarty, SPEEA president and Professional Team member. “At this point,
we should move forward with the items upon which we can agree, and leave
the status quo in place for the remaining items.”
In addition to the proposed contract extension, SPEEA requested that
Boeing continue to meet under the auspices of FMCS mediation to tackle
the difficult issues that have proven so divisive in these negotiations.
“Our hope is that we can work collaboratively to find solutions in a
data-rich environment outside of the constraints of the collective
bargaining process,” said Ryan Rule, Professional Team member.
In making the proposal, SPEEA agreed to accept Boeing’s funding
mechanism for the Ed Wells Partnership training program. The status quo
proposal continues to offset company medical costs through annual
deductible increases based on salary growth. To put to rest the pension
issue, a major point of contention, SPEEA proposes to accept the same
pension proposal that Boeing negotiated with the International
Association of Machinists (IAM District 751). Finally, the contract
extension offer is made with the understanding Boeing recognizes
same-sex survivor pension benefits pursuant to Washington state law.
“With our contracts put to rest, we can all roll up our sleeves and work
the issues facing the 787 and Boeing,” said Sandy Hastings, Technical
Team member. “SPEEA members know this is a great airplane, and we are
eager to prove this to our customers, the flying public and the FAA
(Federal Aviation Administration).”
SPEEA and Boeing started meeting in April 2012 to negotiate new
contracts for 15,550 engineers and 7,400 technical workers. In October
2012, engineers rejected Boeing’s initial offer by 95.5 percent.
Technical workers rejected the company’s offer by 97 percent. Existing
contracts expired Nov. 25. Since resuming talks Jan. 9 after a
month-long FMCS-imposed recess, union members increased preparations for
a possible strike. A 40-day strike in 2000 by SPEEA stopped deliveries
and caused major factory and service bottlenecks at Boeing plants around
A local of the International Federation of Professional and Technical
Engineers (IFPTE), SPEEA represents 26,300 aerospace professionals at
Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas, and Triumph Composite
Systems, Inc. in Spokane, Wash.
Bill Dugovich, communications director, 206-674-7368 or 206-683-9857
Ray Goforth, executive director, 206-433-0991