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Boeing, union back at the bargaining table after contract rejection

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on Oct. 2, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
October 2, 2012 4:29 pm

Boeing and the union that represents its engineers and technical workers in Washington, Oregon and Utah were back at the bargaining table today after union workers resoundingly rejected Boeing’s initial four-year contract offer.

The company, in a message to its workers, said it had received their message.

“We are interested in understanding your negotiating team’s priorities and welcome the opportunity to fully engage in the bargaining process. We also acknowledged that not every remaining aspect of our first proposal is a must have, but recognize that movement on the part of both parties will be necessary to reach an agreement,” the Boeing negotiating team said.

The company said it had already modified its proposal to ensure that Boeing workers on military leave would continue to have company-provided disability and life insurance after three months on active duty.

Boeing said it was withdrawing language that could have given it power to terminate medical insurance for some retirees. And the company provided written assurances that it would not impose a monthly employee contribution for dental insurance.

Boeing said the union could not call a strike if negotiations reach a dead end until Nov. 25 although the contract is due to expire Saturday.

The union, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, said the two sides reviewed tentative agreements already reached and worked on setting up a new negotiating schedule.

Boeing had maintained all along that it never intended to have the union present members its initial proposal before bargaining took place.

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