SPEEA Members Split on Boeing Contracts, Engineers Accept While Technical
SEATTLE -- February 20, 2013
Engineers and technical workers at The Boeing Company returned a split
decision in voting on new four-year contract offers with engineers accepting
their offer and technical workers rejecting the offer and giving their
negotiation team authority to call a strike.
Votes tallied Tuesday (Feb. 19) by the Society of Professional Engineering
Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001, show engineers in the
Professional unit accepted Boeing’s latest offer for a new four-year contract
6,483 to Accept and 5,514 to Reject.
However, SPEEA members in the SPEEA Technical Unit rejected the company’s
offer to them by 2,868 to Accept and 3,203 to Reject. Technical workers
granted strike authorization by a vote of 3,903 Do grant strike authorization
to 2,165 Do Not.
While engineers and technical workers bargain at the same time, the contracts
are separate and independent agreements. With engineers accepting Boeing’s
offer, the 15,550 employees in SPEEA Professional Unit are in position to
provide inside support to technical workers if Boeing forces a strike.
“There are pathways to a negotiated agreement available,” said Ray Goforth,
executive director. “With this second rejection by technical workers of Boeing
takeaways, it’s time for the company to stop wasting resources and improve its
offer to reflect the value and contributions technical workers bring to
Boeing. That way, we can avoid a strike and focus on fixing the problems of
the 787 and restoring customer confidence in Boeing.”
While the company offers extended most elements of the previous contracts,
including 5% annual wage pools and no increases to employees for medical
coverage, union members found fault with the elimination of the pension for
future employees. In its place, Boeing offered a 401(k) retirement package
that slashed the retirement benefit by 41%. Boeing also refused to ensure
existing employees their benefits would not be affected by changes to the
Social Security cap on taxable income or raising the Medicare eligibility age.
Both are being considered by Congress and would dramatically impact existing
On Friday (Feb. 22), SPEEA is holding a press conference at the National Press
Club in Washington, D.C., to outline the impact a strike by technical workers
will have on airlines, defense programs, trade and the tourist industry. SPEEA
last struck Boeing in 2000 when more than 19,000 engineers and technical
workers walked off the job for 40 days. That strike slowed airplane production
to a crawl and prevented Boeing from delivering aircraft.
SPEEA contracts expired Nov. 25. Negotiations to secure new contracts started
in November, 2011. SPEEA presented a full proposal to Boeing on June 15, 2012.
It then took Boeing three months to present a counter offer. That offer was
overwhelmingly rejected by 95.5% of the engineers and 97% of the technical
While the majority of covered employees are in the Puget Sound region of
Washington state, these contracts include employees in Oregon, Utah and
A local of the International Federation of Professional and Technical
Engineers (IFPTE), SPEEA represents 26,560 aerospace professionals at Boeing,
Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas, and Triumph Composite Systems, Inc. in
Bill Dugovich, Communications Director
Ray Goforth, Executive Director
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