Firefighter Kyle Liston pickets outside of Boeing on Airport Road as the lockout of IAFF Local I-66 Boeing Firefighters approaches two weeks on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. The firefighters and other local unions are picketing 24/7 outside an entrance to Boeing’s facility. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Firefighter Kyle Liston pickets outside of Boeing on Airport Road as the lockout of IAFF Local I-66 Boeing Firefighters approaches two weeks on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. The firefighters and other local unions are picketing 24/7 outside an entrance to Boeing’s facility. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

After lockout, firefighter union approves Boeing’s latest contract offer

With a contract ratified, Boeing’s firefighters said they’ll get “fair pay for their critical work.” They’ll return to work this week.

EVERETT — Union firefighters approved Boeing’s latest contract offer Thursday, ending a contentious negotiation cycle in which union members overwhelmingly rejected the previous three offers and the company locked out its firefighters.

After their contract expired in March, more than 125 Boeing firefighters — members of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local I-66 — sought a deal from the aerospace giant that included competitive pay and better staffing.

With the contract ratified, Boeing’s four-week lockout will end and firefighters will return to work Saturday.

“The final vote tally was 86 in favor and 24 opposed. With the contract approved, the firefighters who protect Boeing Co’s Washington State facilities expect to return to work on Saturday,” union leaders said Thursday afternoon in a statement.

“Boeing Local I-66 fire fighters stood tall in the face of a multi-billion-dollar company trying to break their ranks,” IAFF General President Edward Kelly said in the statement. “The entirety of the Labor Movement stood with them, as did President Joe Biden, who called on Boeing to give fire fighters better pay and benefits.”

Under the four-year deal, firefighters will receive 2% and 3% annual raises through 2027. On average, the contract increases pay up to $21,216 a year without a change in work requirements and guarantees four hours of overtime for each 24-hour shift worked. Firefighters will receive a 65 cent raise every six months, instead of the current 50 cents, and will reach the top pay grade after 10 years instead of the current 14.

“We’re grateful our rank-and-file members got the contract they deserve, one that provides them with fair pay for their critical work,” Kelly said. “This is why collective bargaining matters — it gives workers a voice at the table and strengthens our country’s middle class.”

In a statement Thursday evening Boeing said, “We’re pleased our firefighters have ratified a new contract and look forward to them returning to work.”

Bargaining talks began in February, but after union members rejected the second contract in early May, Boeing locked them out of its Everett, Seattle area and Moses Lake facilities.

About 40 firefighters work at the company’s Everett assembly plant at Paine Field. During the lockout, the company relied on replacement firefighters to safeguard its facilities.

The talks, aided by a federal mediator, with the planemaker’s Washington-based firefighters drew national attention.

Before a scheduled visit to Seattle earlier this month, Biden expressed support for the firefighters on the social media platform X, saying he was “concerned” that Boeing had locked them out. Others criticized Boeing’s decision to lock out firefighters as another lapse in the company’s safety culture, under scrutiny from federal regulators and the airline industry.

Boeing’s specialized firefighters provide emergency medical services and conduct regular safety inspections at Boeing facilities. They are also present every time a Boeing-built aircraft is fueled or takes off on a test or delivery flight.

During negotiations, the two sides squared off over wages — union officials said Boeing firefighters receive up to 20% less than local fire departments — and Boeing’s requirement that firefighters work 14 years before reaching the top pay level.

Firefighters and their supporters have held round-the-clock informational pickets near Boeing facilities, including the company’s wide-body assembly plant at Paine Field.

Janice Podsada: 425-339-3097; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @JanicePods.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Kim Skarda points at her home on a map on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Concrete, Washington. A community called Sauk River Estates has a very steep slope above it. There is a DNR-approved timber sale that boarders the estate properties, yet they were not consulted about the sale before approval. The community has already appealed the sale and has hired their own geologist to conduct a slope stability report at the site. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Beneath steep slope, Concrete neighbors fear landslides from logging above

Nielsen Brothers plans to cut 54 acres of timber directly behind the community of 83 homes. Locals said they were never consulted.

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

Rob Plotnikoff takes a measurement as a part of the county's State of Our Waters survey at Tambark Creek in Bothell, Washington on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County stream team bushwhacks a path to healthier waterways

This summer, the crew of three will survey 40 sites for the State of Our Waters program. It’s science in locals’ backyards.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
4th suspect arrested after Mountlake Terrace home robbery

Police arrested Taievion Rogers, 19, on Tuesday. Prosecutors charged his three alleged accomplices in April.

A 10 acre parcel off of Highway 99, between 240th and 242nd Street Southwest that the city of Edmonds is currently in the process of acquiring on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds ditches $37M Landmark public park project off Highway 99

The previous mayor envisioned parks and more in south Edmonds, in a historically neglected area. The new administration is battling budget woes.

Edmonds school official sworn in as Mount Vernon supe

Victor Vergara took his oath of office last week. He was assistant superintendent of equity and student success in Edmonds.

Everett Housing Authority is asking for city approval for its proposed development of 16 acres of land currently occupied by the vacant Baker Heights public housing development on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett council locks in building heights for Park District

After months of negotiation, the council approved on Wednesday the 1,500-home project with buildings as high as 12 stories.

Onions are grilled up at the Walla Walla Burger booth during opening day of the Evergreen State Fair on Aug. 25, 2022 in Monroe, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Save money and time with advance ticket sales for Evergreen State Fair

The fair’s 115th installment runs 11 days starting Aug. 22 in Monroe. “Bright Lights, Summer Nights” is the theme.

Jayden Hill, 15, an incoming sophomore at Monroe High School is reflected in the screen of a cellphone on Wednesday, July 10, 2024 in Monroe, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Come fall, Monroe students must silence their cellphones in class

Elementary and middle school students won’t be allowed to use phones in schools. High schoolers will have more leeway.

Members of “Everett Deserves a Raise” group turn in their signed patients to the the clerk at City Hall on Thursday, July 11, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett minimum wage initiative submits signatures to get on ballot

Meanwhile, another group is leading a campaign for a similar local measure, but with a few notable differences.

The winner of the 2023 Great Mukilteo Dog Show at Lighthouse Park in Mukilteo. (Photo provided by Kandace Barnes)
All dogs are show dogs at the Great Mukilteo Dog Show on Saturday

The mayor “double dog” dares you to attend. Categories include Best Wiggles and Most Slobbery at the show at Lighthouse Park.

Cane's box combo (Photo provided by Raising Cane’s)
Attention all Caniacs: Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers is headed to Lynnwood

The Southern chain with 750 restaurants is finally coming to Washington, with locations also planned in Renton and Seattle.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.