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Boeing engineers and technical workers say negotiations not producing major progress

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on Nov. 14, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
November 14, 2012 2:59 pm

Boeing union engineering and technical workers have begun a boycott of voluntary overtime in protest to the lack of what their union calls “meaningful dialogue” at the bargaining table with the aerospace company.

The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, which represents some 23,000 engineers and technical workers, mostly in the Puget Sound area, said the company hasn’t presented any substantial new proposals for wages, medical coverage and retirement in recent talks with the union.

The union strongly rejected the company’s initial proposal earlier this fall but have made no moves toward striking despite the coming contract expiration Nov. 25.

The union reminded its workers this week that the company can’t require overtime during on a holiday. In earlier advisories to workers, SPEEA said its workers are required to work overtime at the company’s behest only if Boeing has found no volunteers to do the overtime shifts.

“Boeing needs to see tangible metrics of members’ dissatisfaction to persuade them to be realistic and get this deal done,” the union said in a press release and a message to members.

The told members that the contract expiration doesn’t automatically trigger a strike or lockout.

“Nothing significant happens when the contract expires at midnight, Nov. 25. All of our wages, benefits, holidays and working conditions remain unchanged while negotiations continue,” the union said.

Boeing a year ago negotiated a new contract with its largest union, the Machinists. Union members received wage, pension and benefit increases and an agreement to build the next version of the 737, the 737 Max, at the company’s Renton plant.

We’re awaiting comment from Boeing.

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