Engineers reject Boeing contract
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
As expected, members of Boeing's white-collar engineering union have overwhelmingly rejected the company's contract offer — 15,097 voted against the contract; 608 voted for it. The results were announced late Monday.
The immediate effect of the vote will be that the two sides will return to the bargaining table at 1 p.m. Tuesday; negotiations could continue for months.
The result tilts the balance of the contract struggle, delivering a setback for Boeing and strengthening the bargaining power of the Society for Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace leadership.
SPEEA represents more than 23,000 Puget Sound-area employees.
While the union wields the threat of a damaging strike, the company has also been talking tough.
Speaking to The Seattle Times editorial board last week, Boeing engineering leader Mike Delaney warned that if the company is forced to give local workers higher compensation and benefits than they would earn in other markets, Boeing will slowly but inevitably move engineering work from the Puget Sound region — especially high-end tasks such as developing new airplanes, as well as defense projects.