Skip to comments.Report: Boeing to settle NLRB lawsuit
Posted on 11/30/2011 11:43:56 AM PST by jazusamo
Boeing and its Machinists' union have struck a deal that both settles the controversial National Labor Relations Board lawsuit and keeps the new 737 production line in Washington, the Seattle Times is reporting, citing unnamed sources.
According to the report, the union will announce the agreement momentarily, at a 2 p.m. EST news conference.
The agreement is huge news for South Carolina as Boeing's North Charleston plant had been at the center of the NLRB case. While the terms of the deal have not been announced, it would seem the Dreamliner production facility by Charleston International Airport is now in the clear. South Carolina seemed to be only marginally in the running for the 737 MAX production line.
The announcement of the deal comes just a few hours after Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Jim Albaugh spoke to investors in New York, saying, among other things, that the company had not chosen where to build the 737 MAX. He also praised the South Carolina operation, echoing a previous statement that certain units at the North Charleston campus are producing above the overall 787 program rate.
The reported agreement also comes almost a year before the existing contract with the Machinists expires and as Boeing begins an across-the-board plane-building ramp-up in an effort to reduce a years-long order backlog.
A letter the Machinsits union's leaders published on its website about the Boeing deal:
In late October, senior executives from Boeing approached us to ask if we could get together to talk about issues that were going to come up in the 2012 contract talks. We agreed to meet with them to hear what they had to say. What resulted was an ongoing dialog and a series of meetings that ended with a proposal by the Company to extend the current contract with some changes in certain areas but a huge improvement in job security, which was your No. 1 issue in our first survey for the 2012 contract negotiations.
For these meetings, we pulled together our union negotiating teams, who have experience dealing with the various topics the Company wanted to cover: Health and Benefits, Job Security, Pay, Pension and Incentives. Although we had an idea the Company might want to extend the existing contract, we had to wait until they confirmed it in writing that this was their intent.
We did not publicly announce these talks, for reasons we know you understand. In the past, we've gone through negotiations with media, politicians and bloggers second-guessing our moves and trying to determine the outcome while we work against a looming deadline. To make a big public splash this time would have undermined what we were doing and would have gone against the reasons why we agreed to meet with the Company in the first place.
We now know this was the right decision. What has resulted is an unprecedented commitment by Boeing to Puget Sound and Portland for the 737MAX and the related manufacturing that's currently being performed here. This will generate long-lasting security for our members. It also resulted in a Boeing commitment to the success and continuation of the other airplane programs where our members have shown time and again their expertise, productivity and quality, resulting in increased profits for the Company.
Based on many factors the current economy, the state of affairs at Boeing and our ability to secure unprecedented Job Security for our members -- we unanimously recommend you vote to accept this proposed contract extension.
We need to be clear: this proposal does include some sharing in the increases in Health Care costs, with the amount varying, depending on the plan you choose. Negotiations are about give and take and to achieve gains in Job Security, Pension and Wages, we had to be willing to compromise elsewhere. However, in doing so, we were also able to increase benefit levels in dental and vision, and win protections that cap the amount you will be paying, including guarantees that you won't have to pay any future federal taxes on healthcare plans. In the end, we'll still have health care benefits far superior to those earned by most workers in our industry, and our nation.
On the plus side, there are some significant improvements, which are outlined on these pages. This should be considered as a full package as you discuss this proposal with your family.
Ultimately it is up to you as members to vote whether to accept this contract extension proposal or reject it. Summaries of the proposed contract extension will be available at all Union Halls, and a complete text of the Company's proposal will be available online (www.iam751.org). We urge you to study them carefully.
Taken as a whole, we think you'll like what you see. This proposal addresses what you told us was important to you; therefore we recommend you accept it by voting yes.
Your Union Negotiating Team
Mark A. Blondin, Aerospace Coordinator Tom Wroblewski, District 751 President Robert C. Petroff, Assistant Directing Business Rep W24 Steve Rooney, District 70 President
I’m confused as to how (or if) this affects the new SC plant and NLRB actions.
The 28,000 members of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers will vote on the contract deal next week, the union said on Wednesday.
If ratified, the union said it would drop its grievances against the company over its establishment of a new 787 production site in South Carolina, which is the subject of a dispute between Boeing and the NLRB.
That looks like the big deal to me, the NLRB complaint about the SC plant will go away.
Check my post #5
South Carolina & Washington Ping?
This NLRB/commie fiasco is a good reason to outlaw Unions in the USA.
Here’s a newsflash for the NLRB and the Unions:
(Boeing should have said...)
We’re opening our S. C. plant and proceeding with production.
Neither the NLRB or any Union have any standing in our decision.
Boeing surrendered to the thugs
In 25 years at Boeing I have NEVER seen IAM settle so quickly on a contract. The threat moving the 737 MAX out of Renton was one heck of a card the company held. My wife will be thrilled to know we will not have to move. We now have enough work to carry me well past retirement. :-)
I’m not privy to what’s going on in the negotiations but if this truly does make the NLRB complaint go away on the SC plant I believe Boeing got what they wanted.
That’s good news!
Yep, a foot in the door of a non union plant. They expand the plant for the “plastic” planes, and let the union guys build the aluminum ones back in WA.
Then they come out with another composite model to be built in SC.
My 2¢ anyway.
That makes me feel so much better about paying that extra 10% hike in my self-paid premium this month.
My BC/BS now officially takes more of my already taxed income than my mortgage.
Boeing is too dependent on Gov’t contracts to be able to tell the NLRB to shove it.....but they should.
I assume that BNSF will remain in the business of air travel by rail (from KS).
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“I assume that BNSF will remain in the business of air travel by rail (from KS).”
Yep. And BNSF delivers more than 737 body sections. Spirit Aero has part cars that go to Everett as well. So even if the 737 moved out of state, they would still ship from KS to WA by train.
I love seeing 2+ fuselage assys zipping across the fruited plains (and mountains).