Union Blasts Boeing's Pay Increase As "Insulting," Threatens To Strike Next Week

Another contract negotiation between Boeing and its aircraft workers, another strike threat. The workers’ union plans to walk out if union members don’t get higher wages and better benefits–a strike that could cost Boeing $3 billion a month:

Reuters: Boeing Co. offered its largest workers’ union wage increases and other incentives for a new labour contract, but the union called the proposals “insulting” and stepped up its threat to go on strike in early September.

Boeing proposed a pay raise of 2.5 per cent the first year and 2 per cent in each of the following two years, but the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers — which represents 27,000 Boeing workers, mostly in the Seattle area — demanded more…

Boeing is expected to propose its best and final offer around labour Day, September 1, with union workers set to vote on the contract on September 3. The current 36-month labour agreement expires at midnight on September 3, meaning a strike — if approved by members — could start on September 4.

Industry watchers say a strike is likely given the fractious history of Boeing and its workers…

The IAM has gone on strike three times in the last 20 years. Its members walked off the job for 48 days in 1989; for 69 days in 1995; and 28 days in 2005. The union rejected Boeing’s final offer in 2002, but less than the necessary two-thirds voted for a strike, which meant the contract was accepted by default.

A strike could cost Boeing $3 billion a month in revenue, as it would not get paid if planes went undelivered. Last quarter, Boeing’s commercial aeroplanes unit took in $8.6 billion in revenue, or about $2.9 billion per month.

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