January 27, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Everett, Wash- Boeing and its engineers’ union announced Jan. 13 that they had reached a tentative agreement on a six-year contract extension that will end defined-benefit pensions for the last large group of workers receiving them.
The proposed deal with the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace will switch employees hired before March 2013 to a defined-contribution pension at the end of 2018. They had been protected in the union’s last contract, which would have expired in October. SPEEA, which represents more than 20,000 Boeing engineers and technical workers in Washington, Oregon, Utah, California, and Florida, will vote on whether to ratify the deal by Feb. 10. “These negotiations were possible because SPEEA and Boeing decided not to let our areas of disagreement prevent us from making progress on items where we do agree,” Ray Goforth, the union’s executive director, said in a statement. Boeing workers in the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers narrowly approved similar pension concessions in January 2014, in exchange for the company agreeing to build its new 777X jetliner in the Seattle area. The deal with the engineers doesn’t include specific guarantees of future work, a company executive said. Read more