In an announcement that made front-page news around the world, leaders of IAM District 751 in Seattle said that union members in Washington, Portland and Kansas will vote next week on a four-year contract extension that includes a commitment by the Boeing Co. to build its 737 MAX passenger jet in Washington state.
With over 700 orders, the 737 Max is the latest variant of Boeing’s most popular aircraft and a workhorse for many fleets around the world. The selection of Washington state as the site to build the 737 MAX means nearly 20,000 jobs and more than $5.5 billion in related economic activity for the surrounding area.
Terms of the four-year proposal include: annual wage increases of 2 percent, plus cost-of-living adjustments; an incentive program intended to pay bonuses between 2 and 4 percent; a ratification bonus of $5,000 for each member and increases to the formula for calculating pensions in each year of the pact.
The new contract also contains a written guarantee that new hires will continue to receive traditional defined benefit pensions.
While the wage hikes, pension improvements and job security provisions are key features of the agreement, equally important is the establishment of high-level committees that will meet monthly give the IAM and Boeing the opportunity to review and discuss issues including market conditions, quality, safety, productivity, schedule and cost.
“In addition to achieving improvements outside the traditional bargaining window, this agreement aims to open a new chapter in our long history with the Boeing Company,” said Headquarters GVP Rich Michalski. “From the initial meetings to hammering out the final details, these negotiations were conducted with a determination by all sides to avoid the pitfalls of the past.”
Additional information and a summary of the contract proposal are available at www.IAM751.org/Boeing.