SPEEA counters Boeing wage offer

The union representing Boeing Co. engineers and technical workers showed signs of compromise in a meeting with the jet maker the afternoon before Thanksgiving.

The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace countered a Boeing wage proposal, asking for 6 percent annual raises for its 22,765 Puget Sound area members over the next three years. That’s down from the 7.5 percent the union had requested during negotiations this summer.

Boeing had offered wage increases of 3 percent to 4.5 percent annually over four years during a negotiating session Tuesday. Last month, SPEEA members strongly rejected the company’s first contract offer, which included raises of 2 percent to 3.5 percent.

“Obviously, we still have some work to do when it comes to salary,” said Doug Alder, a Boeing spokesman, after the Wednesday meeting.

The company and union agreed to meet again Tuesday.

Disappointed with contract talks over the past seven weeks, SPEEA leaders have encouraged members to shun voluntary overtime and to stick to work procedures, skipping more efficient shortcuts. In a message Wednesday, SPEEA negotiators noted that all overtime over the Thanksgiving weekend is voluntary. The union’s effort ultimately could slow jet deliveries at a time when Boeing is increasing aircraft production.

Boeing and SPEEA remain at odds over the company’s retirement plan. Boeing wants to put new employees on a 401(k) plan rather than the pension plan SPEEA members have today. The two also don’t agree on how much of the burden of health-care costs should be shared by SPEEA members.

Ray Goforth, SPEEA’s executive director, suggested Tuesday that SPEEA members likely will be asked soon to give negotiators the authority to call a strike, in an effort to put more pressure on Boeing. However, the union has said a strike will not take place until after the new year, if at all.

Although SPEEA’s contract has expired, federal labor law ensures the bulk of the measures remain in place for up to a year. The union filed a termination notice, as required by law, for Nov. 25 to give the engineers and technical workers the right to strike. That also gives Boeing the right to lock workers out as of Nov. 26.

But don’t expect a lockout come Monday.

“As long as we’re negotiating, everything will continue as normal,” Alder said.

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

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Business Briefs: State minimum wage rises in January

Also, Boeing workers’ donations support local nonprofits and fundraiser for businesses impacted by Bolt Creek wildfire.

Jollee Nichols, right, and daughter Ruby, 2, work on an art project together at the Imagine Children’s Museum on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
With new addition, Imagine Children’s Museum doubles in size

More than just space, the Everett museum’s new $25 million wing is an investment in mental health.

Artistic rendering of 526 Speedway exterior. (Mosaic Avenue Realty Ltd.)
Mosaic Homes looks to add industrial condo space in Mukilteo

Mosaic Homes steps into commercial real estate development with 526 Speedway, an industrial condo project.

Andy Illyn with a selection of his greeting cards, Cardstalked, that are sold at What’s Bloomin’ Floral on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Adventure-seeking cop finds new thrill in greeting cards

Mukilteo assistant police chief Andy Illyn unwinds by turning puns and dad jokes into greeting cards.

Dan Murphy, left, Mary Fosse and Rex Habner. (BadgleyPhotography.com / Snohomish & Island County Labor Council)
Everett City Council member honored by local labor council

Mary Fosse, candidate for District 38, receives the first annual Mike Sells Labor Champion award.

Screen printed dish towels available at Madrona Supply Company on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022 in Clinton, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Do some good along with your Christmas shopping

Head across the Sound to Whidbey Island for gift-buying with a do-gooder spirit

Shoppers walk in and out of Macy’s at Alderwood Mall were Black Friday deals are being advertised on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Go ahead, hit snooze: Most Black Friday deals are online

Braving the stores on Black Friday is still a thing, but more retailers are closed on Thanksgiving.

FILE - In this photo provided by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, a crane and boats are anchored next to a collapsed "net pen" used by Cooke Aquaculture Pacific to farm Atlantic Salmon near Cypress Island in Washington state on Aug. 28, 2017, after a failure of the nets allowed tens of thousands of the nonnative fish to escape. A Washington state jury on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, awarded the Lummi Indian tribe $595,000 over the 2017 collapse of the net pen where Atlantic salmon were being raised, an event that elicited fears of damage to wild salmon runs and prompted the Legislature to ban the farming of the nonnative fish. (David Bergvall/Washington State Department of Natural Resources via AP, File)
State won’t renew leases for Puget Sound fish farms

Cooke Aquaculture has until Dec. 14 to wrap up steelhead farming and begin deconstructing their equipment.

Kevin Flynn, right, a meat-cutter with the Marysville Albertsons, hands a leaflet to a shopper during an informational campaign on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022. Flynn was one of about a dozen grocery store workers handing out leaflets to shoppers about the proposed merger between Albertsons and Kroger. (Mike Henneke / The Herald)
Proposed merger of Albertsons and Kroger worries employees

Workers at an Albertsons in Marysville urge shoppers to sign a petition blocking the $25 billion deal.

Kim Taylor, left, and Jeff Stoner co-own Greenbank Cidery, a newly opened taproom on Whidbey Island with eight varieties of cider on tap. (Rachel Rosen / Whidbey News-Times)
Cider tasting room opens on Whidbey Island

The owners of Greenbank Cidery have opened a tasting room in Coupeville. Eight varieties of cider are on tap.

Erika Heer, EVP, Chief Human Resources Officer at Coastal Community Bank
Quiet Quitting – the good, bad and what to do about it

Mid-summer, the term ‘quiet quitting’ became a part of the vocabulary of… Continue reading

Customers walk in and out of Fred Meyer along Evergreen Way on Monday, Oct. 31, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Store managers in Everett plead for help with crime, public safety

Two Fred Meyer stores report theft, drug use and threats, despite increased security and presence from Everett police.