Negotiations For New Labor Contract Showing Progress
After a two-hour session held Friday, negotiators from the
Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace and the
Boeing Company reported "some progress" had been made toward
hammering out a new labor contract.
Ray Goforth, SPEEA's executive director, said, "Our team is
taking Boeing's interests seriously and developing carefully
thought out counter-proposals. The process is genuine and
Boeing presented its initial contract offer Thursday, but SPEEA
officials were disappointed that it didn't meet union expectations
on wages, health care and outsourcing.
At Friday's session, SPEEA and Boeing negotiators discussed
health care, retirement plans, sick leave and vacation pay. SPEEA
communications director Bill Dugovich said counter-proposals on
compensation would be presented at Saturday's session.
Two major obstacles remain to be
resolved: Boeing's proposed change in pension for new employees,
which offers new employees a 401k-type pension instead of the
traditional plan, and the company's plan to exclude 100 Utah
defense engineers from the Puget Sound region contract, the Everett
Daily Herald reported.
Both sides confirmed their willingness to extend the time frame
of the negotiations beyond next Tuesday's target date for finishing
the talks. "We've always said we'll stay as long as it takes to get
a good contract," Dugovich said.
With the current contract set to expire December 1, SPEEA
represents almost 20,500 engineers and technical workers in
Washington, Oregon, California, and Utah. If productive talks
between Boeing and SPEEA negotiators continue, workers can continue
working and Boeing can avoid a potential second labor strike of the