MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Boeing’s union pushes back on in-office requirement

Dec 14, 2023, 10:19 AM | Updated: 6:22 pm

boeing union in-office...

Boeing workers in Washington. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

On the heels of a Seattle Times story that said Boeing is now requiring employees to work in the office five days a week, the company’s union is saying not so fast.

“If Boeing can outsource engineering work to Poland or India which is effectively letting those workers telecommute from whole other continents, it can and really should allow its aerospace professionals living in Standwood, Sammamish, or Sumner to work remotely too,” Brian Corliss, a union spokesperson told KIRO Newsradio. “We have heard from some of our members that they will leave Boeing if they are forced to be in the office full-time.”

Nikki Haley: Boeing made a good business decision moving out of WA

Boeing managers have been working since October to get employees back in the office.

“The baseline expectation is that almost all employees will be in the office five days a week,” said a Boeing spokesperson.

“As we continue to hire new employees and continue our airplane development work, it’s beneficial to have teams in the office,” the spokesperson said. “Often there’s no substitute for face-to-face collaboration and communication.”

Corliss said that it’s not quite that black-and-white.

“Right now, Boeing’s expectation is for our members to be in-office, but they are letting managers have flexibility in allowing remote work when it makes sense for their work group,” he said. “We’d encourage Boeing to keep the status quo.”

More Boeing news: Deliveries of new planes have increased

There is no deadline for all the Boeing workers to get back to the office, but one group has been told they will be full-time in the office when they return to work after the holiday break.

The union says that the move may impact future contract negotiations.

“Our contract is in place until 2026, if members tell us this is something they want addressed in the new contract, we can certainly take that up at that time,” Corliss explained.

During the pandemic, employees who could were encouraged to work remotely. Factory workers did not have that option.

There hasn’t been any comment from the company on what action will be taken if an employee refuses to come to the office.

Heather Bosch contributed to this report.

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