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Boeing Engineers Reject Contract Offer, Return To The Bargaining Table

Deborah Wang

Negotiators for the Boeing Company and its engineering and technical union are back at the negotiating table today. That's after union members soundly rejected the company's latest contract offer. KUOW's Deborah Wang has more.


More than 21,000 SPEEA members voted by mail on the company's contract proposal . And when the votes were counted last night, 96 percent of engineers and 97 percent of technical workers had voted 'no.'

Ray Goforth is SPEEA's executive director. He says members were incensed that the company is proposing to cut back pay and benefits at a time when it's posting hefty profits.

Goforth: "There is no economic reason for the company to be seeking any pay or benefit cuts. Our members are generating a fabulous amount of wealth for the Boeing Company and frankly it is insulting for them not to be willing to share that with the employees helping to generate that wealth."

The contract calls for pay increases of two and three percent per year. SPEEA calls that a reduction from the current contract, and less than the rate of inflation.

It asks employees to pay more for their health care. It would eliminate the pension plan for new hires, and replace it with a type of 401K. And it would eliminate long term disability and life insurance for employees who are on leave serving in the military.

After the vote was announced, Boeing sent a message to union members saying the company is "committed to continuing discussions, answering questions, and considering any proposals or counterproposals from your negotiations teams."

The company says on its website that is it still optimistic about reaching an agreement with the union, and that it is committed to providing the best pay and benefits in the marketplace.

The current contract with SPEEA expires on October 6. Both sides say they expect to continue negotiations well past that date.

I'm Deborah Wang, KUOW News.

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