Boeing Leaves Classification Proposal On Table
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace
Workers District 837 representing machinists employed by Boeing-St.
Louis announced it accepted the planemaker's final offer Sunday...
but just barely.
The final vote was 951 to accept the deal, versus 883 to reject
it. The union says the close vote indicates many members are
unhappy with the contract... but taking the deal was better for all
than a protracted strike.
"It tells them that come Monday morning, we're going to have a
lot of unhappy folks," Ricky Smith, president of International
Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 837, told
the Associated Press. "To ask our members to go on strike for three
weeks, six weeks or six months -- we didn't feel like there was
anything in there that warranted that."
The new three-year contract took effect at 12:01 am Monday, and
is set to expire on June 13, 2010, according to the union.
As ANN reported, the contract
includes a four percent general wage increase the first year and a
three percent general wage increase the third year. A $2500 lump
sum payment will be made to each employee in the first and second
years of the contract.
A new formula for pensions was also agreed upon, increasing to
$70 per month per year of service from $60. Newly hired employees
will remain in the defined pension plan and receive a new 401K
package as well. The portion of the Healthcare premium paid by
employees could possibly increase to 12 percent but does have upper
limit caps associated with it.
Boeing left a proposal on the table adding five new
classifications in five separate labor grades. The new
classifications will be able to do the work of the traditional
classifications, however; the new classifications cannot be
populated if any traditional is in lay-off status.
"This contract recognizes the contributions employees have made
to the company's success and addresses today's business realities
so that Boeing St. Louis can remain competitive in the years
ahead," said Steve Jacques, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems vice
president of manufacturing and lead for the STL negotiations.
During a last minute concession by Boeing, it was further agreed
traditional job classifications within labor grades will be given
first priority in shift preference. The union fought Boeing's
request to exempt less-experienced (and, thus, less expensive to
employ) workers from layoffs, providing Boeing could prove they had
skills considered necessary for production.
The concession is intended to insure workers with seniority are
given due consideration, should layoffs be announced.