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Local Impacts: Boeing Engineers' Contract Negotiations Closer to a Strike

Union members voted down Boeing's first contract offer, with 96 percent voting no, on Oct. 1.

Boeing Co. engineers are currently pursuing a new contract with the company and things are gong no where.

The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SEEPA), the union representing 22,765 engineers and technical workers in the Puget Sound area, said the terms Boeing outlined Tuesday regarding wages and medical benefits make a strike very likely.

In a message SEEPA sent to employees, the union said it will hold training sessions for picket captains next week, although SPEEA leaders haven't asked members to give negotiators the authority to call a strike, according to The Herald Business Journal.

"We are doing everything possible to avoid the need for a work stoppage," SPEEA's negotiators wrote. But they signaled the need to be prepared in scheduling picket training meetings.

Local Implications

How would a strike affect local Boeing business?

The union, which represents 23,000 engineers, isn’t expected to seek authorization for a strike before mid-December.

Boeing is increasing production across its assembly lines to meet demand for its jetliners.

Hazelwood Patch reached out to Boeing to find out what a strike could do locally to the company, considering a lengthy labor unrest could slow or halt output.

Chamila Jayaweera with Boeing Co.’s Hazelwood-based Boeing Defense, Space & Security division provided a statement on situation.

"None of the approximately 14,750 Boeing employees in the St. Louis region are represented by SPEEA. 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."

The Boeing Co., is the St. Louis area’s second-largest employer.

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