To secure a "yes" vote by the union's members, the package also includes substantial cash awards, including a large ratification bonus and a generous buyout plan for workers close to retirement.
The outline of what's under consideration suggests a major poker play by the company to cut long-term costs, using the future of airplane manufacturing in the Puget Sound area as the high stakes on the table.
While precise details might well change at the last minute --- which could mean Tuesday or Wednesday, according to those close to the talks -- discussions have included a signing bonus as high as $10,000 for all members as well as a buyout that would allow retirement with boosted pension terms for those over age 58.
The take-aways include significantly higher health care premiums and, crucially, a radically changed pension plan.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is the last Boeing union with a traditional pension, and the company has sought unsuccessfully in multiple contract negotiations to move new hires to a 401(k)-style retirement savings plan.
The offer would also change the wage structure so that new hires would take much longer to reach the top of the pay scale than they do today.
One machinist summed up Boeing's strategy this way: Offer the big signing bonus to entice younger members who perhaps aren't thinking of staying their entire working lives with the company. And use the golden-handshake early retirement package to swing the votes of those planning to retire in the next few years.
For everyone else, this machinist said, the offer is "a losing deal."
Sources said Boeing's offer has been subject to minimal negotiation in the secret talks that were revealed Monday.
Instead, management has laid out what it wants for keeping the 777 work in the state, with minimal wiggle room to make adjustments. Boeing executives have told the union that otherwise it will place the work elsewhere, sources said.
It's not known how the union leadership will respond.
MORE HBJ HEADLINES
Katsu Burger brings Asian-fusion burgers to Lynnwood What entrepreneurs can learn from the Wright Brothers Briefs: EdCC president honored with Patriot Award LED lightbulb savings outshine solar and wind power It's the golden age of the American muscle car Ford headlight failures prompting wrecks draw U.S. probe
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.