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SPEEA prepares for strike as Boeing talks resume

UPDATE (Jan. 11, 2012) — SPEEA negotiations with The Boeing Co, continued Thursday with the union reporting little progress on key issues. SPEEA teams reminded Boeing that with record profits, a completely funded pension, 4,200 airplanes on backorder and $20 billion of cash on hand, it doesn’t make sense to cut wage growth, cut pension growth, eliminate the pension for future hires and raise medical costs for everyone.

Signifying the importance of the union’s efforts to secure a respectful contract with Boeing, IFPTE President Greg Junemann, visited the teams at the hotel and then attended Thursday’s SPEEA Council meeting to reiterate the support of SPEEA’s international union.

Negotiations are scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. Friday.

UPDATE (Jan. 10, 2013) — SPEEA and Boeing Co. negotiations resumed Wednesday at a SeaTac hotel, with assistance from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Both SPEEA and Boeing agreed to meet again at 9 a.m. Thursday, after the mediators adjourned the meeting.

Meanwhile, thousands of SPEEA members took part in “Day of Action” events throughout the Northwest in support of negotiations. Members marched through Boeing factories and offices or attended updates with negotiation team members in lunchtime meetings. Check out the pictures.

respect-SPEEASEATTLE (Jan. 9, 2013) –The union for engineers and technical workers resumes contract negotiations with The Boeing Company today, but the two sides remain far apart on major contract issues.

Members of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001, are marking the resumption of talks with a Day of Action that includes lunchtime solidarity events at Boeing facilities from Everett to Portland and Utah.

“Our goal is to get a contract that respects the contributions engineers and technical workers had to creating the record profits and 4,200 airplane backlog Boeing has today,” said Ray Goforth, SPEEA executive director. “After Boeing tried and failed to build the 787 on the cheap, SPEEA members stepped up and saved the program. Everything has now turned around and the company has developed amnesia about how that happened.”

Negotiations resume at 1 p.m. at a SeaTac hotel with the assistance of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). FMCS Director George H. Cohen called a halt to talks Dec. 5 when negotiations appeared heading for a cliff. Since then, SPEEA members have started preparing for a strike by training picket site captains and informing members on how to hold a successful strike.

SPEEA President Tom McCarthy recorded the following message to the union’s members describing the negotiating team’s expectations entering today’s talks, including that they expect the company to present another “best and final” offer that would go to a vote of the membership.


Wednesday’s Day of Action events are expected to draw from dozens at small sites to hundreds and thousands of SPEEA members walking inside and outside Boeing facilities in Renton and Everett. Boeing has drawn three Unfair Labor Practice charges (ULPs) for videotaping and photographing union members at the events, confiscating cameras and the photographs they held. All of the marches have been peaceful. The ULPs are awaiting action before the National Labor Relations Board.

SPEEA and Boeing started meeting in April to negotiate new contracts for 15,550 engineers and 7,400 technical workers. In October, engineers rejected Boeing’s initial offer by 95.5 percent. Technical workers rejected the company’s offer by 97 percent.  Existing contracts expired Nov. 25.

A local of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), SPEEA represents 26,300 aerospace professionals at Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas, and Triumph Composite Systems, Inc. in Spokane. For more information, visit

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