Boeing counters union’s critique of offer

A squabble over a labor contract between the Boeing Co. and the union representing 22,765 engineers and technical workers in the Puget Sound region continued Thursday.

Boeing released a series of counterpoints to assertions made by the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace about the contract proposal the company made last week.

For its part, SPEEA posted an online calculator, which allows members to determine how Boeing’s offer would affect them individually as compared to the existing contract.

On Monday, SPEEA negotiators urged the engineers and technical workers who design and test Boeing aircraft to reject the company’s first contract proposal. Union officials decided not to continue contract talks this week with Boeing, characterizing negotiations thus far as “a special kind of disrespectful.”

About 1,500 Boeing engineers and technical workers rallied Wednesday inside the company’s factory in Everett to show displeasure over the contract offer.

Boeing officials on Tuesday labeled SPEEA’s curtailment of further talks an “unprecedented departure” from typical contract negotiations. The company noted several “misrepresentations” by SPEEA in the union’s offer summary.

Chicago-based Boeing called its detailed response Thursday a “clarification.” It contains Boeing’s responses to SPEEA assertions, including that this is the lowest salary increases offered by the company since 1975 and that the company is offering “below-market” vacation for workers.

On Thursday, SPEEA mailed out ballots to members, who have until 5 p.m. Oct. 1 to vote on Boeing’s contract offer. The union has not included a strike authorization measure as part of the vote. Union officials say they’ve asked Boeing to return to contract talks on Oct. 2, should members reject the company’s offer.

SPEEA leaders say a strong rejection of the proposal will send a “loud message to Boeing corporate leaders that they must return to negotiations ready to actually negotiate a contract that respects our contribution.”

Boeing negotiators including Mike Delaney, vice president of engineering for commercial airplanes, consistently have emphasized the need for a contract that offers “market-leading” compensation yet keeps the company “competitive now and 10 years from now.”

The negotiations come at a time when Boeing not only is increasing aircraft production but also is gearing up on several design programs including the 737 MAX, 787-9 and 767-based refueling tanker.

For more information on the contract offer, visit Boeing’s website, boeing.com/speea-negotiations, or SPEEA’s website, www.speea.org.

Herald reporter Michelle Dunlop: 425-339-3454 or mdunlop@heraldnet.com.

More in Herald Business Journal

Teddy, an English bulldog, models Zentek Clothing’s heat regulating dog jacket. (Ian Terry / The Herald)
Everett clothing company keeps your dog cool and stylish

Zentek uses space-age fabrics to moderate the temperature of pets and now humans.

Everett engineers learn lessons from Mexico City catastrophe

Structural scientists went to help after the September earthquake there and studied the damage.

Providence said to be in talks for merger with Ascension

The two Catholic health organizations have been exploring joining forces, sources say.

Hospital companies merge as insurers encroach on their turf

An anticipated deal between Providence St. Joseph Health and Ascension is only the latest.

DaVita to sell off medical groups including The Everett Clinic

Another round of health care consolidation means The Everett Clinic could soon get new ownership.

Engine trouble hits Air New Zealand’s 787 Dreamliners

A Rolls-Royce engine was shut down and was afterward found to be seriously damaged.

Washington, Amazon sue company over seller training programs

Braintree is accused of using deceptive ads promising information on how to make money on Amazon.

Lockheed-Martin dominates global arms sales, Boeing is 2nd

The combined sales of U.S.-based companies totaled $217 billion.

The Marine Corps’ version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is designed to land vertically like a helicopter. (Lockheed Martin)
F-35 fighter costs, $1 trillion over 60 years, draw scrutiny

Pentagon’s ability to repair F-35 parts at military depots is six years behind schedule.

Most Read