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Boeing, SEEPA Resume Contract Talks this Week Amidst 787 Dreamliner Fiasco

Both sides concluded first day of talks on Wednesday at 7 p.m. according to SEEPA's Facebook page.

Negotiators representing 23,000 Boeing Co engineers resumed contract talks on Wednesday after a review of the company's latest offer.

The companies did not agree over a new contract as the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) posted on it's Facebook page Wednesday night, "Negotiations with Boeing concluded for the day. Will resume Thursday at 9 a.m."

Wednesday was also a crucial day for Boeing as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration grounded all of Boeing's 787 aircraft, after fires and emergency landings.

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The latest Boeing offer increases pay raises for professional workers by 5 percent in each of the first two years of the four-year agreement, and 4 percent in each of the remaining years. Technicians, a separate worker category, would get 4 percent raises all four years.

Contract provisions, including healthcare and retirement benefits, are unchanged. SEEPA has been fighting to get equal benefits for LGBT employees.

SEEPA submitted a counter to the contract on Wednesday it deemed the “best and final” offer.

"With the desire to focus all attention on solving the emergent issues with the 787, the SPEEA Professional and Technical Negotiation Teams today (Jan. 16) the union representing engineers and technical workers today (Jan. 16) proposed incorporating areas of agreement from ongoing negotiations into existing contracts and extending our Boeing contracts for another four years," Bill Dugovich, SPEEA communications director, released in statement. "The contract extension offer is made with the understanding Boeing recognizes same-sex survivor pension benefits pursuant to Washington state law." 

A strike would not directly impact workers at the Hazelwood facility. Originally local concerns regarding a strike were unknown as Hazelwood Patch reached out to Boeing.

Chamila Jayaweera with Boeing Co.’s Hazelwood-based Boeing Defense, Space & Security division provided a statement on situation but did not mention specifics on local impacts.

"None of the approximately 14,750 Boeing employees in the St. Louis region are represented by SPEEA," she said. "Teams from Boeing and SPEEA in the Puget Sound area continue to meet and work continues as normal under the current contract while negotiations go forward with the hope of reaching an agreement as soon as possible."

Boeing and SEEPA engineers now need to troubleshoot the 787 issues, so could an agreement be reached?

Possibly. SEEPA countered Boeing's offer on Wednesday.

"SPEEA’s unprecedented offer would free Boeing and 23,000 engineers and technical workers from protracted and increasingly contentious negotiations that appear headed for a strike.

It also allows the company and our technical workforce to focus on
reaffirming confidence and proving the 787 is the reliable and safe product employees know it to be.

Completing negotiations also helps Boeing stay focused on supporting customers, engineering the 767 tanker, 737 MAX, increasing 737 and 777 production rates and the other products needed for our national defense.

The Boeing Co., is the St. Louis area’s second-largest employer. It announced in November it would be scaling back it executive defense workforce by 10 percent.

To read more about Boeing see:

  • Local Impacts: Boeing Engineers' Contract Negotiations Closer to a Strike
  • Boeing Helping Veterans Move into High Paying Manufacturing Careers
  • Boeing Is Cutting Jobs Locally
  • Boeing Sees Increase in 2012 Profit Forecast
  • Boeing's Diversity Fair Draws Hazelwood Robotics Team

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