Boeing’s engineers and technical workers have only been on strike twice before, but there is growing concern that they are ready and willing to walk out this month if they don’t get a deal they like.
Union members overwhelmingly rejected Boeing’s first contract offer, and the union says Boeing hasn’t put anything significantly different on the table since.
SPEEA’s Bill Dugovich said the possibility of a strike is legitimate. “We have a significant number of people who wanted to take a strike vote two months ago, and that group is growing in size and number daily,” he said.
Dugovich hopes it doesn’t come to a strike, but he’s not too optimistic heading back into negotiations on Wednesday. “We’re hopeful but very concerned,” Dugovich said.
Boeing and SPEEA have not held contract talks since early last month. A federal mediator told them to take a break over the holidays to help cool their emotions. The union filed another unfair labor practice complaint against Boeing last week, complaining that Boeing was intimidating its members by videotaping them during labor walks.
The two sides are still far apart on their wage and pension benefit packages.