Truck and bus drivers at the Boeing Co. have authorized a strike against the company that could begin as soon as midnight Thursday.
However, a spokesman for Boeing said talks have been going well and the company foresees reaching a contract with the drivers.
“We’re optimistic,” said Dean Tougas, a spokesman with Boeing’s Bellevue-based Shared Services Group. “It’s been a cordial exchange of information and proposals. We don’t have any reason to believe that we aren’t going to have an agreement.”
A spokesman for the union did not return a telephone call on Tuesday. But in a statement, officials with Teamsters Local 174 in Tukwila said that 87 percent of the members had authorized the strike in a vote over the weekend.
Talks started on March 20 and were reported to be continuing on Tuesday.
The union represents 239 drivers at 15 Boeing facilities in Washington. The group includes truck drivers who deliver parts between plants, along with people who drive buses, limousines and other vehicles for the company.
The union’s statement said the drivers have not had a general wage increase in three years. In the talks, they are asking for “significant” increases in pension contributions, and also want Boeing to continue paying their full health care premiums, the union said.
Reporter Bryan Corliss: 425-339-3454 or firstname.lastname@example.org.