Engineers and technical workers at the Boeing Co. overwhelmingly rejected the company’s contract in a mail ballot ratification vote announced last night. The workers are members of Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA)/IFPTE Local 2001.
Boeing had claimed the union’s negotiating team did not represent the workers’ desires, says SPEEA Executive Director Ray Goforth. But on recommendation of the committee, the workers rejected the contract 15,092 to 608. Says Goforth:
We hope the vote results clear away the nonsense and allow us to begin substantive negotiations. Until now, meaningful discussions have eluded us because the Boeing negotiating team was convinced they understood the members better than the SPEEA negotiating team. With this question resolved, our expectation is that everyone can focus upon getting a mutually acceptable agreement.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says, “It’s a shame that a company as successful as Boeing would offer its workers a contract that pads the pockets of those at the top, while imposing disastrous cutbacks on its employees.”
The SPEEA professional and technical workers have shown a lot of courage. They deserve better. We hope Boeing got that message and is prepared to negotiate seriously for a future that includes both profitable business success and hard work properly rewarded.
The rejected contract included raises at or below the rate of inflation, significantly increased employees’ share of medical costs, eliminated the pension for future employees and included language that allowed Boeing to change important provisions at any time.
Contract talks resumed today. Read more from SPEEA/IFPTE.