The Boeing Co. said striking engineers and
technical workers will get a raise today if they decide to return
to their jobs.
"It's time to get back to work and start focusing on our
customers," Alan Mulally, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group
President, said Sunday.
Boeing declared an impasse in negotiations last week after a
third round of talks broke down late February.
"We've all done the best job we can" in bargaining, Mulally
said. "We appeal to our engineering and technical workers to join
us so we can move forward."
Boeing officials said employees will receive pay raises today
specified for the first year of the company's Feb. 26 contract
offer. Technical workers will get a guaranteed minimum 2 percent
wage increase, with a pool representing a 3 percent additional
increase to be doled out selectively.
The union for 17,000 striking workers dismissed the action as an
attempt to get workers to cross picket lines and called it an
unfair labor practice.
"We're not coming back until they sit down at the table with us
and negotiate this contract," said Tom McCarty, a member of the
engineering negotiating team, who was picketing with about 75 other
Boeing employees outside Mulally's news conference.
The contract offer does not guarantee engineers an increase in
the first year. Performance-based raises will be granted from a
fund totaling a 5 percent increase, with another 1 percent for
those about to be promoted.
An additional 2 percent increase was set aside for engineers in
critical skills areas such as software development and electrical
engineering, Boeing spokesman Peter Conte said.
"We are implementing the last, best offer we made to our team
because it's time to move forward," Mulally said.
The company will not impose other parts of the offer, however,
including reductions in life insurance benefits and some changes in
Negotiations broke down Feb. 27 between the company and the
Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace despite
the efforts of C. Richard Barnes, head of the Federal Mediation and
Conciliation Service, and other federal mediators.
The union, which went on strike Feb. 9, has sought more
guaranteed pay raises and bonuses, like those received by
production workers represented by the Machinists, Boeing's largest
In Cape Canaveral, Fla., four Boeing electrical engineers walked
off the job last week to join other striking workers. Their
decision meant all 10 SPEEA-represented people stopped work on the
launch of a $1 billion defense satellite scheduled for April 9.
The union represents about 22,200 Boeing employees, mostly in
Washington state, but also in Kansas, California, Florida, Oregon,
Texas and Utah. About 63 percent are dues-paying union members.