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Boeing engineers say company leaders must have ‘amnesia’

Negotiators for SPEEA get a look at Boeing's second contract offer Tuesday, after the first was rejected last month. Boeing's engineers make an average of about $110,000 a year, and its white-collar unionized technicians make around $80,000. (Dean Rutz/AP photo)

UPDATE: Ray Goforth, executive director of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), says the union negotiating team is likely to reject the offer. The full membership will vote on it after Thanksgiving.

Negotiators for Boeing’s engineers and technical union workers don’t expect much from the company when it hands them a second contract offer Tuesday.

“Indications are this offer is only marginally improved from the offer members overwhelmingly rejected last month,” according to the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace.

The union’s website states 2008 and 2012, SPEEA members “helped to pull the company back from financial collapse due to the 787 outsourcing fiasco. Now that the company is posting record profits, company leadership has developed amnesia” by forgetting all the engineers and tech workers have contributed.

They say while Boeing executives and shareholders are being rewarded, the proposed pay and benefit package they’re looking at changes to pensions and health benefits.

Boeing wants to put incoming workers on a 401(k) plan, rather than current pension system SPEEA members have.

SPEEA also reminds its workers “all overtime during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is voluntary.”

After November 25, SPEEA could strike, though union members have not taken a strike vote. Unlike the Boeing Machinists, SPEEA has held only one significant strike, of 40 days, in 2000.

Boeing doesn’t want to deal with a strike. The company is trying to meet a record commercial backlog of about 4,000 jets valued at $302 billion.

Boeing’s engineers make an average of about $110,000 a year, and its white-collar unionized technicians make around $80,000.

By LINDA THOMAS

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