The mediators will be there only as observers when the parties meet Tuesday afternoon at a Seattle hotel.
That's not what Boeing officials had wanted when they sought assistance Thursday from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
“We are still pushing for them to take a more active role,” Doug Alder, a Boeing spokesman, said on Monday.
But leaders for the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace agreed to talks only if the mediators were there as observers, he said.
"It's not ideal from our point of view but it starts the process (with federal mediators)," Alder said.
SPEEA officials confirmed that mediators would be present in Tuesday's talks. The union represents 22,765 engineers and technical workers in the Puget Sound area. Those employees are responsible for designing, testing and signing off on deliveries of Boeing aircraft.
SPEEA and Boeing formally began negotiations in April, though they spoke informally about a new contract several months prior. In October, union members voted down Boeing's first contract offer.
After exchanging new proposals, talks came to a standstill last week with Boeing proposing mediation. On Friday, the two sides couldn't agree on where to meet with the federal mediator.
In an update on the union's website Monday evening, SPEEA provided specifics about Boeing's major proposals, including wages, pension and medical benefits. Negotiators for the union expressed frustration and called Boeing's proposals "unacceptable."
"Inflation and increased medical premium contributions significantly reduce the value of the salary increases that you receive over the term of this proposal," SPEEA officials wrote.
Most recent Aerospace blog posts
- Last Mitsubishi MRJ test plane enters final assembly July 27
- Boeing considers cutting titanium to drop 787 cost July 24
- As Boeing’s 787 gets more reliable, suppliers see drop in spare-part sales July 24
- Boeing adds Japanese suppliers to 777X work July 24
- FedEx places the biggest-ever order for 767 freighters July 22
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.