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
It’s tempting to think so, but it could also be that both the union and the Obama administration wanted this issue to go away in the run-up to the election.
For the Obamanites, the issue gives the Republicans a perfect club to beat them over the head with in South Carolina, and by extension, the rest of the South and every other “right to work” state.
For the union, well, let’s just say it doesn’t make them look very good either, and they know damn well that if Republicans win in November next year, the suit will be dropped anyhow.
Bottom line, Boeing wanted to get busy making planes, the administration wanted this to go away, and the union realized that this was probably the best deal they could hope to get — and it would let them save face with their members by touting the gains.
I don’t think the unions have very much confidence that Obama will win reelection.
A bunch of oxygen thieving commies.
So the union scum, with the assistance of the effing federal govt, extorted more money, jobs and benefits from a private company.
Your analysis is correct.
If the GOP is smart they won’t let this issue die. We need other companies to make the same moves starting right now. We’ve got the chance to drive unions completely out of the private sector.
They need a team looking up the thousands and thousands of little cases that the NLRB is going nuts on right now. It is killing job creation. This issue should not go away until Obama is out of the WH.
I’m not so sure. The NLRB was pressured by the union to prevent Boeing from opening the SC plant. Boeing gets to proceed because of offerings of red cloth and sparkly things.
IMO it seems that this was a slight of hand maneuver to save face for thug... err I mean union leaders.
Once the plant is up and running in SC, screw the machinist union.
I defer to the folks who’ve been following this more closely than I.
“red cloth and shiny things”
All around good deal.
Probably would have cost a fortune to tool up down SC way for the 737...
Especially with all the orders Boeing is pulling in.
Not much else to brag about in downtown Renton, eh?
>> Boeing surrendered to the thugs
Hope they go bankrupt.
This deal looks a lot like a face-saving way for the IAM and the NLRB to give up.
This is a victory for conservatives. The National Labor Relations Boards (NLRB) attempt to dictate where businesses invest has failed.
the IAM knew the courts were very unlikely to shut down the South Carolina plant, while the NLRB itself will soon lack a quorum and ability to act.
Obama would have a difficult time defending it on the campaign trail. Todays contract allows the IAM and the administration to back down without formally admitting they made a mistake.
I think you're right on the money. That coupled with the comment in post #11 made it easier for the IAM and NLRB to fold.
“I love seeing 2+ fuselage assys zipping across the fruited plains (and mountains).”
The rest of the journey is nice as well. If you don’t blink you may see me in this video.
I'd guess that Boeing doesn't do many flame paint jobs though.
I have a Boeing rail car including the 737 body section, as a part of my O-Gauge train collection. One of only 200 Boeing rail cars made for train collectors. There are Boeing execs that would pay a small fortune for it. But its mine all mine. Of course I have a BNSF SD70 to pull it around during those rare times I let the Boeing car on the track
I saw 4 or 5 up close and personal at the Livingston, MT train depot one evening a couple of years back. I’ve heard that the car behind the fuselage carries the paperwork, but maybe it’s the tail?
Nothing is in the car at the tail. We have been working with Spirit to use it for delivering parts kits but that’s been an uphill battle. So for now it just protects the tail and provides a place for taggers to do their work. People in my work group have ridden the train all the way, doing studies of locations where the fuselage gets the most damage from coming in contact with trees, brush, rockfall and such.
I figure that they could be used as high speed passenger trains, from Kansas anyway.