Union Votes Down Staff Cuts
Aerospace workers in Long Beach, CA tasked with assembling
Boeing's C-17 Globemaster III military transport plane
overwhelmingly rejected a three-year contract offer this weekend,
due to proposed staffing cuts.
"It was an overwhelming turnout," Jacki Harris, president of the
United Aerospace Workers Local 148, told the Long Beach
Press-Telegram regarding the 974 to 245 vote Saturday. "We stood
together as a union, and we cannot accept a contract that
eliminates 20 percent of our work force."
Boeing maintains the contract submitted for union approval on
April 25 was its "best and final offer." It included $19,000 in
additional compensation in the form of pay increases and
cost-of-living adjustments, payable over three years, for each of
the 2,100 workers employed at the Long Beach facility... and a
$4,000 lump sum payment upfront.
Harris said union members couldn't stomach Boeing's call to cut
jobs at Long Beach, however, calling the contract "subpar" and a
threat to superiority concerns.
"We're certainly committed to hearing the union out on issues,"
Boeing spokesman Rick Sanford, declining to comment further until
Boeing's negotiation team meets Monday afternoon.
As Aero-News has reported,
the Long Beach facility faces an uncertain future, due to questions
over sustained production of the C-17. Boeing's production contract
with the US Air Force, the largest customer for the aircraft, is
due to expire within two years.
Unless the company can guarantee 16 orders per year for the
large transport, Boeing has said the line could close for good