Boeing, SPEEA can’t agree where to do mediation

The Boeing Co. said Friday that federal officials have responded to its request for help in talks with the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, and a mediator could meet as early as Monday in Washington, D.C. But the company said the union has declined to meet that day.

The union, meanwhile, says it’s been in contact with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, too, but SPEEA isn’t willing to move negotiations to D.C. It’s ready and willing to meet at the usual place — in Tukwila.

“It’s just bizarre,” SPEEA executive director Ray Goforth said late Friday. “We really don’t know what they’re doing.”

The company says it contacted the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service on Thursday after what both sides described as a frustrating negotiating session. “The deputy director of the FMCS told Boeing that he would be available to meet with SPEEA and Boeing in Washington, D.C., beginning on Monday,” the company said in a statement.

“Boeing then asked SPEEA if they would attend,” the company said. “Unfortunately, SPEEA is declining to attend on Monday. We hope SPEEA will reconsider.”

Goforth said he had a conference call with apparently different mediation officials Friday morning. “I explained that we were happy to fold them (the mediators) into the negotiations but, once again, we didn’t have negotiating dates with Boeing,” Goforth said. “They said they hadn’t heard from Boeing since Wednesday.”

Later Friday, a Boeing negotiator via email proposed the Washington, D.C., meeting, Goforth said, which the union declined because it would have been “on the other coast.”

And that’s where things stood at 5 p.m. Friday.

SPEEA represents 22,765 Puget Sound area engineers and technical workers, who are responsible for designing, testing and signing off on deliveries of Boeing aircraft.

The two sides first began talking informally about a new contract nearly 18 months ago. Formal negotiations started in the summer. Union members strongly rejected an initial contract offer Oct. 1.

The SPEEA negotiations update Web page is here, and Boeing’s is here.

More in Herald Business Journal

Snohomish inventor makes changing beds magical

He hopes to make his big push in the hotel industry, where injuries to housekeepers are increasing.

Boeing planes designed for Alaska to make final flights

The special Boeing 737-400s carry cargo in the middle of the plane and 72 passengers in the rear.

Boeing creates a Renton office to oversee its new airplane

Experts expect the company to make a formal 797 launch decision no later than next year.

Equifax dumps its CEO after the damaging data breach

Many applauded Equifax’s handling of the problem, but management was under fire for lax security.

Job fair planned for Tulalip community members

Tulalip Tribes Employment is holding an employment clinic from 9 to 11:30… Continue reading

New memory care community opens in Mukilteo

Health care insurance is the next topic on KSER’s monthly personal finance… Continue reading

Marysville Tulalip chamber plans to host candidates forum

The next Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce Business Before Hours event… Continue reading

New memory care community opens in Mukilteo

Mukilteo Memory Care celebrated its grand opening earlier this month. The state-of-the-art… Continue reading

Monroe’s Canyon Creek Cabinet names new exec VP

Mark Kovich has joined Monroe-headquartered Canyon Creek Cabinet Company as the executive… Continue reading

Most Read