By a 1,269 to 449 vote, members of District 837 in St. Louis ratified a contract extension with the Boeing Company that provides members with wage increases and an $8,000 signing bonus while improving the company’s ability to attract much-needed new work. District 837 represents nearly 2,400 workers who build the F/A-18 and F-15 fighter planes as well as the EA-18G electronic attack aircraft.
The new contract, which received the unanimous endorsement of the 12-person bargaining committee, also covers IAM members at Boeing facilities in China Lake, CA and the Naval Air Station in Patuxent River, MD.
In a move designed to avoid layoffs of IAM members, the 90-month contract extension includes retirement incentives for senior members.
Boeing’s F-15 and F/A-18 fighter jets, both made in Missouri, are experiencing dwindling demand as military spending shrinks in the U.S. and around the world. The F-18 assembly line in St. Louis is expected to exhaust current orders in 2016.
While Boeing is unsure if the Pentagon will order more F/A-18’s, the company indicated the contract extension would significantly improve its competitive position in bidding for future work