Update, 9:30 AM PDT Sept. 5: Dominic Gates of The Seattle Times just posted this insightful story on negotiations. Gates paints a dramatic picture of events leading up to the decision to suspend the strike for 48 hours to midnight tonight while negotiations continue.
Update, 8:10 AM PDT Sept. 5: Jon Ostrower of Flightblogger picked up on a story none of the local Seattle media has, and that’s why the IAM agreed to mediation. It’s an important element the IAM leadership did not discuss Wednesday night when they told their membership they were returning to the bargaining table for 48 hours. This turned an enthusiastic crowd into a hostile one, hostile to their own leadership. This reason still hasn’t been explained to the membership. Here is Jon’s report:
According to one veteran machinist deeply familiar with Boeing/IAM labor policy, had the IAM refused to accept the help of a federally appointed mediator and the 48-hour extension, immediate beginning a strike, the IAM would have been deemed negotiating in bad faith, opening themselves up to legal action.
Article 24 of the existing contract allows for a potential extension of up to 1 year if the union agrees to it. It has never been done for this long, though it was done for 5 days in 1986 to give additional time to the Union membership to see the changes to the contract and vote. The same could be done this time around to call for a vote later this weekend without going on strike. A simple majority (50%+1) is required to approve the new contract.
The link to Jon’s full posting is here.
Meanwhile, the IAM contract website has several updates, including a video. There is nothing new on the Boeing contract website beyond the election night disappointed-with-results press release.
(Following section from Thursday morning with this original post.)
We may be updating several times today with news and analysis.
Our first take on the morning after: the salient points from last night are:
What we think will happen now: unless Boeing capitulates–an unlikely prospect–we think a strike will occur at 12:01 AM Saturday. The union membership is angry and wants to make a point. With outsourcing a key issue for them (among others), and one on which Boeing doesn’t want to budge, we think the 48 hour stand down only postpones the inevitable.
Seattle Times: Strike on holds 48 hours.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Boeing avoids strike for now.
Flight International: Last ditch talks.
Bloomberg News: Strike delayed for talks.
Chicago Tribune: IAM votes to strike; engineers are next.
Update, 12:45 PM PDT: Here is a 13 minute podcast with James Wallace, the aerospace reporter for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, about the strike vote and 48 hour stay.
Here is a press release from the engineers’ union, SPEEA, in support of the IAM.
Flightblogger has this report from a pub across from the Everett plant, where IAM workers frustrated with the 48 hour strike-stay congregated into the wee hours Thursday morning.
James Wallace of The Seattle P-I obtained a memo sent by Boeing CEO Jim McNerney to all employees following the strike vote.
Dominic Gates of The Seattle Times has this story on Boeing, the IAM and Mickey Mouse.
Investor blog Motley Fool says Boeing should let the IAM strike.
IAM risks Boeing moving jobs to right-to-work states, reports this Reuters article.