Boeing announces voluntary layoffs in Puget Sound

By Bryan Corliss

April 28, 2020, © Leeham News: Boeing on Monday formally announced it would offer voluntary layoffs – essentially contract buyouts – to members of its Puget Sound workforce.

For most workers, the offer would give them one week’s pay for each year of service, up to a maximum of 26 weeks. Boeing would also continue paying health insurance benefits for most of the laid-off workers for three months. (The exception to this: Machinists Union members will get six months of extended health benefits under the terms of an agreement negotiated in 2016.)

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Calhoun faces first test on labor issues

By Bryan Corliss
Jan. 29, 2020 © Leeham News —
Two weeks into the job, and new Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun is already facing his first labor-management showdown, with SPEEA, the union for engineers and technical workers at the company’s Puget Sound plants.

On Monday, the vice president of engineering functions for Boeing Commercial Airplanes sent a message to members of SPEEA at Boeing, saying that his team has agreed to meetings with SPEEA’s leadership to discuss “areas of contention between the company and the union.”

Chief among those is SPEEA’s charge that Boeing has been manipulating data used to help calculate annual pay adjustments for engineers and techs, while also allowing front-line managers to blow off  annual performance reviews required for engineers and technical workers to determine who would be released first in the event of a layoff.

The union, through a spokesman, declined on Monday to talk about the accusations it’s made in writing about the wage issues. BCA’s VP of engineering functions, Todd Zarfos, said in his note that the two sides have “agreed to refrain from any further accusations and rebuttals about the identified areas of dispute.”

Instead, Zarfos said, they will “work together on possible solutions.”

Summary

  • Blistering broadside on pay for engineers, techs.
  • SPEEA goes to Legislature to seek end to “Boeing exemption.”
  • IAM bargaining unit urges members to save for strike.
  • Will Calhoun change management’s approach to labor?
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Collins contract vote keeps 737 landing gear on track

By Bryan Corliss

March 11, 2019 (c) Leeham News: Workers at the Collins Aerospace landing gear plant in Everett, WA, have approved their first union contract with the company.

Both sides can come away feeling OK with how they did at the bargaining table. But the biggest winner in these talks actually was Boeing, which now doesn’t have to worry about a break in the flow of 737 landing gear for the next 40 months.

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Boeing strikes new pay deal with Machinists

By Bryan Corliss

March 4, 2019, © Leeham News: Boeing and the Machinists Union have come to terms on a deal that will raise wages for the company’s hourly work force and help the company compete for workers in a tight Puget Sound labor market.

The two sides have agreed on a pact that raises new-hire pay by $4 an hour in all job classifications, and raises pay for experienced workers in 32 specific job classifications by as much as $10 an hour.

In all, as many as 16,000 people are getting raises at Boeing, which is about 55% of the IAM-represented work force.

“Not everybody is getting something here, and that’s hard,” said IAM 751 President Jon Holden in an interview with LNA. “But we were using whatever leverage we could to make some improvement.”

In a statement, Boeing said it is “committed to pay that is competitive within the local marketplace.”

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Boeing supplier reaches deal with Machinists Union

By Bryan Corliss
February 19, 2019, © Leeham News:
Machinists Union members who work at Cadence Aerospace-Giddens in Everett, WA, voted overwhelmingly to approve a new three-year contract with the company.

Ninety percent of those who voted Monday were in favor of the deal, according to the IAM’s District 751. (IAM 751 typically does not release vote totals in its contract elections, only the percentage voting in favor or against.)

IAM 751 President Jon Holden called the contract a “positive agreement.” The union’s negotiating committee called the deal “one members can be proud of and can continue to build upon into the future.”

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Supplier consolidation leading to unionization at some

By Bryan Corliss

Feb. 12, 2019, © Leeham News: While Boeing is enjoying “labor peace” in its Northwest facilities, a couple of aerospace industry suppliers are in the midst of contract negotiations with the largest union representing aerospace industry workers in the region.

At one of the new Collins Aerospace plants in Everett, those talks are contentious. Workers there staged a one-day walk-out on Jan. 17 after (according to union officials) Collins representatives refused to bargain with them.

The workers were back on the job the next day. However, the union representing them – International Association of Machinists District 751–filed a stack of Unfair Labor Practice complaints with the National Labor Relations Board’s Seattle office, accusing the company of, among other things, bad-faith bargaining.

Since the January walk-out, the two sides continued talks with the help of a federal mediator.

“The workers who generate the profits should share in the prosperity we create,” said Joshua Whitcomb, a mechanic at the landing gear shop, in a statement provided by the union. “This is very skilled labor, and not just anyone can perform our work.”

For its part, a Collins spokesperson in Iowa gave LNA a statement saying the company is “committed to continue negotiating with the union in good faith, and hopes to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.”

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IAM loses union vote at Boeing SC

Update: IAM got thumped: 75% to 25% for unionization, 2,097 to 731. Kawabunga!

Feb. 15, 2017: The International Association of Machinists lost its effort to unionize Boeing’s Charleston (SC) 787 plant.

The result was announced about 8:30pm EST by the IAM, but no vote or percentage totals were included.

LNC infers that the absence of the vote totals means the IAM lost by a wide margin.

More to come….

The press release is below.

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Long, bitter history precedes union vote at Boeing Charleston today

Feb. 15, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Boeing’s touch-labor workers at its 787 assembly plant in North Charleston (SC) will vote today on whether to become represented by the International Association of Machinists (IAM).

It’s a vote with huge stakes for both sides.

Boeing vociferously opposes a Yes vote. The IAM, which represented workers on the property when it was owned by Vought before Boeing purchased the plant, was voted out by the workers, by then employed by Boeing, just days ahead of Boeing selecting Charleston for the second 787 assembly line. It is widely believed the vote throwing out the IAM was the capper in Boeing’s decision to locate line 2 in Charleston.

The IAM has been itching ever since to regain representation of the workers here. A previous vote was scrubbed when it became clear, via nose-counting, it would fail.

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Pontifications: Boeing’s 8,000 employee reduction isn’t nearly enough

Hamilton KING5_2

By Scott Hamilton

April 4, 2016, © Leeham Co.: Boeing’s plans to reduce head count at Boeing Commercial Airplanes by 8,000 jobs this year dominated the news last week. Comparing employment figures with Airbus Commercial shows this reduction isn’t nearly enough.

BCA has 22% more employees per airplane than Airbus. BCA is a bloated organization. Some of this undoubtedly is inherent to being a 100 year old company, compared with Airbus being less than 50. Airbus is more automated than Boeing as well.

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Transition from McNerney to Muilenburg complete

Dennis Muilenburg

Dennis Muilenburg, Chairman and CEO of The Boeing Co. Boeing photo.

Feb. 22, 2016, (c) Leeham Co.: The transition from the controversial and divisive Jim McNerney to the leadership of Dennis Muilenburg at The Boeing Co. is now complete.

Boeing announced today that McNerney stepped down as chairman and also stepped off the Board of Directors. Muilenburg, who succeeded McNerney as CEO last summer, now also assumes the chairman’s title.

It’s a welcome change.

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