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Tue November 20, 2012
Boeing engineers inch closer to a strike after 'disappointing' second contract offer
The union representing Boeing engineers is moving closer to a strike authorization. That’s because union leadership is frustrated with the aerospace giant’s second contract offer.
Boeing is now offering higher annual wage increases than its first proposal, which 96 percent of engineers and technicians rejected. But the increases are still lower than the current contract. That’s one reason the union – known as SPEEA – is disappointed.
SPEEA President Tom McCarty says he’s frustrated that Boeing is comparing labor costs with other companies that have been hard hit by the recession – at a time when Boeing’s revenue and profits are soaring.
"We really feel we should be sharing in that success rather than being benchmarked to an economy that’s been in decline for the past four years," McCarty said.
Boeing wants workers to shoulder more in medical expenses, though the company reduced monthly employee premiums compared with its first offer. Boeing spokesman Doug Alder says the current contract is unsustainable and that the company needs to keep labor costs in check.
SPEEA’s Tom McCarty says the union will evaluate the proposal and go back to the bargaining table. The union hasn’t set a date for a strike authorization vote at this point. SPEEA engineers and technicians struck for 40 days in 2000 – significantly disrupting production.