SPEEA and more troubles for Boeing — UPDATED


SPEEA’s executive director, Ray Goforth, has sent out two messages (via Twitter) this morning:

“Council preparing strike authorization vote” (about 11:20 a.m.)

“Talks stalled. Boeing press release contains erroneous info.” (about 9:20 a.m.)


The Boeing Co. could make its final contract to its engineers union as early as today.

Boeing negotiator Doug Kight said in a message last night that the company had received SPEEA’s latest proposal for a four-year contract, which included “some movement on key issues.” But Kight noted that “substantial differences remain.”

Boeing still wants to wrap contract talks up this week.

SPEEA said the two sides had reached tentative agreements on items like vacation, sick leave, overtime pay and holidays but that a number of “stumbling blocks” still threaten to derail the deal. Among the union’s remaining concerns: Boeing’s plan to leave out 100 Utah engineers from the contract. The company had filed a complaint to the labor board over SPEEA’s representation of those workers.

While Boeing negotiators try to avoid a second labor strike this year, the company’s Machinists, back on the job after a 57-day strike, are working to resolve another problem for the jet maker.

Boeing’s typically reliable 737 line in Renton has hit a snag, reports Bloomberg. Faulty nutplates used by supplier Spirit AeroSystems on the 737 mean Boeing workers there will need to replace thousands of pieces on both planes in production and those already in service.

Nearly 400 planes that have been delivered could be affected. The faulty parts don’t pose an immediate in-flight safety concern. The nutplates weren’t treated with an anti-corrosion coating, which would pose a greater concern later in the aircraft’s life.

But the extra work and delivery delays, on the heels of the Machinists strike, will be costly to Boeing.

“It’s a big deal,” said Michel Merluzeau, an aviation consultant at G2 Solution in Kirkland, told Bloomberg. “They’re going to miss their production numbers by a huge margin this year.”

Another minor piece of bad news for the company: Boeing today reduced its year-to-date net orders, removing a request for a 747 jet, on its orders and deliveries Web site.

As promised in a previous blog post, here’s the second installment of the documentary on SPEEA’s 2000 strike against Boeing:

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