Technical workers have voted to approve a new four-year contract with Boeing, ending more than a year of acrimonious negotiations. (AP file)

Boeing technical workers approve new contract

Boeing technical workers have voted to approve a new four-year contract with Boeing, ending more than a year of acrimonious negotiations.

The members of the Society of Professional Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) overwhelmingly approved the contract with 4,244 yes votes to 654 no votes. They had previously voted against the contract in February.

The new agreement puts an end to Boeing's longstanding pension plan and replaces it with a 401(k) retirement program for new hires, the most contentious issue between the two sides.

The contract was previously approved by SPEEA engineers Feb. 19.

The union represents over 26,000 technical and professional workers in Washington, Wichita, Kansas and a Boeing supplier in Spokane.

The new contract extends the terms of the previous contract, including five percent annual salary increase pools, no increases to employees for medical coverage and an increase to the retirement benefit. By the end of the new agreement, SPEEA represented technical workers, and also the engineers, will have received eight straight years of five percent salary increase pools, with guaranteed minimum wage increases each year of the contract, the union said in a statement.

Josh Kerns,
Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter/anchor and host of KIRO Radio's Seattle Sounds (Sunday afternoons 5-6p) and a digital content producer for
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