Union leaders approve strike authorization at Boeingon January 31, 2013 @ 6:27 am (Updated: 6:52 pm - 1/31/13 )
Negotiators for the nearly 23,000 engineers and technical union approved adding the strike authorization to the ballots at a special meeting Thursday.
They also voted to join recommendations from the SPEEA negotiating team to reject Boeing's latest contract offer.
Ballots will go out to members Tuesday. We would know the results on Feb. 19.
SPEEA has said it won't go on strike before the first week of March, if it decides to walk out at all. That deadline would be just a few days after all Boeing workers will get about three weeks bonus pay under the company's incentive plan.
Boeing CEO Jim McNerney is hopeful the engineers and technical workers will not choose this time to walk out for only the third time in their history.
"We're all very hopeful that our discussions with SPEEA will not come to that, but I think we're going to have enough experts available to keep looking at this issue if it goes that far," McNerney said.
Boeing just announced another record year with $81.7 billion in revenues. SPEEA wants its piece of the pie.
The company has offered wage pool raises as high as 5 percent. But it's the pension that's stopping a deal. Boeing says it can't continue to pay out like it is. It spent over $1.5 billion on pension payouts last year. It wants new hires to enter into a 401k-based program.
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