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.”
By Scott Hamilton and Byran Corliss
Dec. 23, 2019, © Leeham News: The Boeing 737 MAX production shut down will be measured in “weeks,” Boeing told one of its unions.
But “weeks” is a highly open-ended description.
One supplier estimated for LNA that the suspension will be at least 60-90 days.
An aerospace analyst sees the halt lasting 3-6 months at a minimum.
LNA’s analysis does not see production resuming before the Federal Aviation Administration notifies Boeing that it has a date certain for recertification. It has announced no timeline, although published reports already suggest this could be any time from mid-February to well into March.
But these are speculative dates.
March 19, 2018, © Leeham News: Boeing faces thousands of retirements in its engineering and touch-labor force ranks over the next five to 10 years, with a limited worker pool for replacements.
A national economy with a low unemployment rate of about 4.1% exacerbates the challenges of finding talent.
These numbers are important to Boeing’s current higher production rate ambitions.
They are even more important as Boeing looks to develop the New Midrange Airplane (NMA, aka 797).
LNC first discussed the looming shortage of engineers in connection with the potential creation of a new company with Embraer.
Oct. 27, 2016, © Leeham Co.: Morocco is emerging as a major aerospace supplier, taking advantage of its location to Africa and the Middle East and low wages.
A wide spectrum of international aerospace companies is located there. Bombardier in August announced it was moving some of its aerospace jobs from high-cost Northern Ireland to low-cost Morocco.
Airbus has been in Morocco for 10 years. United Technologies and Safran are among other internationally recognized names in aerospace that are there.
When Boeing announced an agreement Sept. 27 with Morocco to expand its relationship with the North African country and pledge to encourage 120 suppliers and thousands of jobs there, it attracted little notice in Seattle, home to Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Feb. 22, 2016, © Leeham Co.: A group of Democratic legislators in Washington State will introduce five bills aimed at repealing some tax breaks and also taking yet another run at holding Boeing’s feet to the fire by tying jobs and tax breaks. The latest effort died in committee this year. This is the second year in a row by Boeing’s two key Washington unions, SPEEA (engineers) and the IAM 751 (touch labor) to get a bill out of committee to tie jobs to tax breaks. Boeing opposes the effort.
Most of the bills relate to non-aerospace industries. Two, however do:
LNC last year began hearing management at Boeing Commercial Airplanes would likely face personnel cuts of 10% to 15%. Cuts were expected within the marketing/sales departments, in part due to struggling sales of the 7-Series airplanes, sources told LNC.
The leading labor unions, SPEEA (engineers) and IAM 751 (touch labor), each told LNC last year they expected workforce layoffs were in the future.
More ominously, a consultant who occasionally worked with Boeing, told LNC that the elevation of Dennis Muilenburg from president and chief operating office to president and CEO (and, eventually, chairman) would make former CEO Jim McNerney’s cost- cutting efforts pale by comparison.
Discussion Read more
Jan. 14, 2016: (c) Leeham Co. Blessing a new process in contract negotiations made an agreement possible between Boeing and its engineers’ union, SPEEA, its executive director told LNC in an interview after the surprise deal was announced yesterday.
“This process would not have happened if Muilenburg hadn’t blessed it,” said Ray Goforth, executive director of SPEEA. “This process would not have happened without Muilenburg.”
The full press release is below.
We’ll update as we get more information.
Nov. 16, 2015, © Leeham Co. Boeing will target “long term liabilities” in its contract negotiations with SPEEA, the engineers union, its president quoted CEO Dennis Muilenburg as telling him in September.
Ryan Rule, president of the local SPEEA union, met for an hour with Muilenburg when he was here for a visit by China’s president Xi Jinping. Rule termed the meeting cordial. He told Leeham News last week that Muilenburg wasn’t specific about the “asks” Boeing will seek in contract negotiations next year, citing only “long term liabilities,” which Rule took to mean health care and pension benefits.
Nov. 11, 2015, © Leeham Co. Boeing’s two leading unions, the IAM District 751 and SPEEA, are girding for a second try in the Washington State Legislature to retroactivity tie job retention to $8.7bn in tax breaks given by the state in 2013 in exchange for the 777X final assembly line and the airplane’s wing production factory being located in Everett (WA).
IAM 751 is Boeing’s “touch labor” union that assembles all the 7 Series airplanes in Washington State. The District also represents some Boeing employees outside Washington. SPEEA is the engineers union that represents all in-state engineers and technicians under contract to Boeing.
The 787 assembly site in Charleston (SC) is not represented at this time by any union.
Leaders of 751 and SPEEA Monday said they will renew their efforts to tie jobs-for-tax breaks when the next session of the state Legislature convenes in January. Efforts in last January’s session came up short, largely overshadowed by the bi-annual budget session that required special sessions extending into the summer recess because no agreements could be reached.