Boeing Firefighters and supporters have a camp set up outside of Boeing on Airport Road as the company’s lockout of union firefighters approaches two weeks on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Boeing Firefighters and supporters have a camp set up outside of Boeing on Airport Road as the company’s lockout of union firefighters approaches two weeks on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Union firefighters, Boeing reach new tentative agreement

Union leaders are encouraging firefighters to vote “yes” on the new offer. Voting concludes Thursday.

EVERETT — After reaching another tentative agreement Tuesday night, Boeing’s union firefighters will vote on a new contract offer.

Union leaders have endorsed the new offer and are encouraging firefighters to approve it, according to a joint statement from the company and the union.

Results of the vote were expected by Thursday afternoon.

About 125 Boeing firefighters, who are members of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local I-66, are seeking a contract that includes competitive pay and better staffing. Union members have rejected three previous offers, with the latest voted down last week. Their contract expired in March.

“After new talks this week, Boeing and IAFF Local I-66 are pleased to share that we have come to a tentative agreement that would end the lockout and months of negotiations,” Boeing and Local I-66 said Tuesday in the joint statement. “This tentative agreement addresses the needs of our firefighters and the company, and the representatives of Boeing and the IAFF encourage the members of Local I-66 to vote yes. We look forward to working together productively.”

If firefighters approve this latest contract, they could return to work this week, ending a nearly four-week lockout. 

On May 4, 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.

Since then, the company has relied on replacement firefighters to safeguard its facilities.

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.

The two sides have previously squared off over wages — union officials say Boeing firefighters receive up to 20% less than local fire departments — and a provision that requires firefighters work 13 years before reaching the top pay grade.

At Boeing’s Everett assembly factory and other Boeing facilities, firefighters and their supporters have held round-the-clock informational pickets for the past four weeks.

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

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