The conversation

In the past, some people might have seen labor negotiations as a difficult, but necessary task to get through. But in 2008 we’re taking the view that the conversation getting underway today represents a tremendous opportunity.

As Boeing begins negotiating new contracts with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), it’s our intention to move away from the culture of last-minute bargaining. As our V.P. of human resources, Doug Kight says, we want to make this an open and transparent process.

That’s why we’ve agreed to start discussions with the union sooner than we did in past years. We want to spend more time listening, understanding issues, and making sure our employees and their families have a grasp on the value of the contracts when members vote in September.

Clearly, the challenge as we go forward these next several months is to continue the momentum we’ve had as a company, and work together to stay competitive, keep our commitments to our customers, and to sustain good jobs for generations to come.

During the negotiations process, we’ll discuss, listen, and continue to communicate even when we disagree. The ultimate goal is to arrive at solutions that are in the best interests of our employees, and our customers and communities, as well as the company.

You can check out our 2008 labor negotiations Web site. And you can also read more about the start of contract talks here.

Comments (7)

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

The best and most productive workforces in the world
derive from commonality between management and labor. An absence of hot-heads from both sides means better negotiations.

I am proud to utilize products from companies with employees that are ergonomically protected, work in a safe and clean environment, well paid according to merit and take pride in their work.

I am proud to support union shops.

Chris (Renton):

I look forward to the upcoming negotiations. I hope the company offers a package that will keep and retain the employees it has. Profits have been very handsome for the company, and it would be nice to see the company reward the employees more when the company profits. We all know the executives cash in nicely when the profits are up, and so should the blue collar workers below them. The employees are what keeps Boeing flying high, and I hope this next contract shows that gratitude. I am happy to see the company looking into incentive programs, and that sounds attractive. I also am happy to hear that the company agrees about the starting pay of new hires.

On a side note.... I would really be happy to see Boeing stop outsourcing to cheaper vendors. Cheaper is certainly not the answer, as we have watched the 787 issues build because of the vendors. LOU 37 for example needs to be thrown out.

Good luck, and happy negotiations!


One of my family members came from Freightliner, from what I have heard, Boeing is in a class of their own, I really don't think people know how well they have it at Boeing. The fifty cent raise a year could be approved, but what a great medical plan you have.

Dave McElwain (Everett, Wa):

I have 2 comments. 1 we should be not be comparing the wages of Boeing IAM workers to the " market rate" of what other companies may pay but Instead it should be tied to the amount of profit the workers are making possible for Boeing to realize. And if we were to talk about "market rate" then why are the crane operators not paid as well as the longshoremen?

Marty (Everett, WA):

The altitude of pay for hourly new hires at Boeing is that of a 787 Dreamliner, about sea level. Without overtime, two paychecks barely make rent, let along high fuel and food prices. Hard work deserves fair pay, or at least a 1992 living wage.

It used to be that some individuals did not apply at Boeing because the chances of getting hired were so slim, so competitive, so lottery like. But for those lucky enough to be hired, they wore their prestigious badge proudly. Now, they don’t apply or stay because Boeing has a competitive entry level wage to fast food.

I look forward to the ascent of Boeing and their employees from the realm of Jack-in-the-Box wages to the prestige of times not so distant. I can remember when Boeing use to be the most prestigious place to work in Washington State, but so sadly, Boeing has lost that. I am confident that Boeing knows this hardship, and optomistic as to their plans to repair the entry level wage to at least its prior living wage level of 1992.

Chris (Renton):

Wow Marty,

That was a great post! I truly understand what you are saying in regards to pay. New hire pay is awful, and I agree with you on the difficulty to survive on that pay. Most new hires work two jobs, as it is the only way to survive. I am shocked the starting pay is of a 1992 level!!!!

Chris (Everett):

I worked at Boeing for one year, with the new offer new hires will earn the same as me. If you are going to increase pay it needs to be for all employees moral is already low enough. Also the first offer gave all employees a 2500. signing bonus, 2nd offer is 5% of gross now I get 1000.00 before taxes. I hope the final offer is real this time.

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