The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] just reached a tentative agreement with its engineering union, the Society of Professional Engineers in Aerospace (SPEEA). Hopefully, this will put to rest the labor woes that have been casting a shadow over the company since September. On November 1, Boeing settled a 54 day strike with its machinists union, that has had its impact on the company (read related story). And today, Boeing looks like it will avert a strike with SPEEA if the parties sign a contract by December 1.
The tentative agreement reached today between Boeing and the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) offers market-competitive wages and improved benefits over the four-year duration of the proposed contracts.
SPEEA is recommending that nearly 21,000 employees in Washington, Oregon, California and Utah vote to ratify the agreement.
“Our goal was to negotiate contracts that reward our employees for their hard work and the success they helped create,” said Doug Kight, Boeing vice president of Human Resources. “This agreement provides market-competitive pay and benefits that enable us to attract and retain the best talent, remain on the leading edge of technology and continue to win business in uncertain times.”
The proposed contracts reward engineering and technical employees for their role in the company’s success with
- Five percent annual salary adjustment funds in each year of the contract.
- Continued participation in the Employee Incentive Plan (EIP), which paid individual employees 41 days of extra pay over the past three years.
- Health care benefit improvements, including enhanced wellness and preventive care coverage at slight cost increases.
In addition, Boeing addressed SPEEA concerns about the use of non-Boeing labor and subcontracting, while providing the company flexibility to make business decisions.
If ratified, the new contracts will go into effect Dec. 2, 2008, and will expire Oct. 6, 2012.
Boeing should be happy if the SPEEA signs, it has been distracted for far too long, with its employee negotiations, while it’s competitors ploughed ahead.
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