Monday, January 6, 2014

Boeing Machinists Embrace Reality and Approve Labor Contract with $70,000 a Year Jobs

A Win Win for Everyone

Earlier this Forum commented on the fact that in Washington state Boeing workers turned down a contract extension and that the turndown would likely result in Boeing building a new jetliner in another state, a state that had no unions at all.  Now in a re-vote the workers have narrowly approved the new contract.  It is a win for everyone.

The workers voted 51 percent to 49 percent in favor, responding to pressures from top union officials and Washington State lawmakers, who warned that Boeing might place 777X production elsewhere, potentially costing Washington more than 10,000 jobs.

Washington’s governor, Jay Inslee, said late Friday, “Tonight, Washington State secured its future as the aerospace capital of the world.”

So what did Boeing get?  Well long term labor peace.

Boeing had promised to do final assembly of its planned 777X in the Puget Sound area and assemble the plane’s composite wings there if the machinists approved the eight-year contract extension, which will be added to a contract running through 2016. With Friday’s vote, Boeing is assured that it will not be hit by any machinist strikes through 2024.

And what about the workers?

A Boeing official wrote to workers saying that, despite the concessions, they would still “receive market-leading wages and benefits.” Many have base pay of $70,000 a year, with some earning $100,000 with overtime.

Yes, that sounds pretty good to us.  Ok, not perfect, there were some concessions by the union in terms of retirement benefits.  But in today’s economy a manufacturing job that pays between $70k and $100k is all right.  Take the money and run Boeing workers, take it and run.

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